Shawnee boys fall in regional finals
TULSA – Coach Paxton Kilby hopes Saturday's 76-66 Class 5A regional finals loss by the fifth-ranked Shawnee Wolves to host and seventh-ranked Tulsa Will Rogers serves as a learning lesson for his team.
“It came down to our mentality. We came in and thought we had it in the bag and they punched us in the mouth,” Kilby said.
Delivering the big blow for the Ropers was 6-foot, 7-inch senior Marquel Sutton, who poured in a game-high 27 points and pulled down nine rebounds. Anderson, who has received an offer from Connors State College, was a smooth 11 of 17 from the floor and knocked down 5 of 6 foul shots.
He was joined in double figures by fellow senior guard Marcal Johnson, who netted 17 points, and junior Davonte Pruitt, who finished with 10.
Rogers shot 53.4% from the field and did all its damage with transition and inside buckets. The Ropers connected on only one 3-point shot in the game and it came from starter Antwane Johnson, who ended up with nine points.
“I hope the lessons learned are taking every opponent seriously and, in order to be successful, we've got to hang our hat on defense,” said Kilby. “We got into trying to trade baskets with them and not playing good defense.”
Shawnee shot 42.6% for the game and struggled miserably at the foul line, converting just 5 of 13 attempts. Meanwhile, the Ropers drained 13 of 18 tries from the charity stripe.
One silver lining for the Wolves was the second-half play of 6-5 senior forward Joe Maytubby. After going scoreless through the first two quarters and experiencing foul problems, Maytubby scored 21 points after halftime on 8 of 9 shooting from the floor and 3 of 4 free throws. He also knocked down two 3-pointers, had four rebounds and registered a pair of steals.
“It makes me wish we would've had him the full game after getting into foul trouble (in the first half). We needed to feed him the ball more,” Kilby said.
Junior guard Jaylon Orange added 18 points for the Wolves. Tanner Morris, also a junior guard, followed with 10 and senior Karran Evans ended up with nine to go with eight rebounds.
Shawnee, 14-6, was able to stay in contention thanks to converting nine treys in the game. Orange drained four, Morris landed two and Jeffery Hall had one. Morris also hustled for a team-best nine boards.
The score was tied twice in the first quarter – 2-2 and 13-13 – and the Wolves held a 15-13 edge at the end of the period after a put-back shot by Evans.
But Shawnee was unable to get over the hump. The Ropers scored the first six points of the second quarter in the midst of a 14-3 run through the first five-plus minutes of the period.
Rogers outscored the Wolves 24-11 in the second in building a 37-26 halftime lead.
The Ropers established their largest advantage at 43-30 early in the third and settled for a 51-43 lead by the end of the third.
Shawnee made it a little interesting in the fourth, cutting the deficit to five (53-48) off a Maytubby 3-pointer, and even slicing the disadvantage to three (55-52) off an Evans basket with 6:15 remaining.
But each of those times, Rogers responded. Sutton executed a conventional 3-point play after the Evans bucket Terrence Thomas nailed a free throw to push the Roper advantage back to seven (59-52).
Maytubby's bucket clipped the Wolves' deficit to five again, 59-54, but two straight buckets – one each from Sutton and Pruitt – hiked the Rogers lead back to nine as Shawnee was routinely turned away down the stretch.
The Wolves now face Bishop McGuinness in the Class 5A Area Tournament on Friday at Tulsa Bishop Kelley High School at 8 p.m. A Shawnee win advances the Wolves to the area runner-up title game against the Sapulpa-Bishop Kelley loser at 7 p.m. Saturday.