Shawnee basketball teams in state together for first time since 2017
For the first time since 2017, the Shawnee High School girls' and boys' basketball teams are in the Class 5A State Tournaments at the same time.
The Lady Wolves are set to face the top-seed and top-ranked Sapulpa Lady Chieftains at 2 p.m. Thursday at Tulsa Memorial High School in the opening round while the Wolves will square off with Lawton MacArthur at 8 p.m. Thursday at Owasso High School.
For the Shawnee boys its been a long time coming. Last spring, the Wolves qualified for the state tournament, but didn't get to compete due to COVID-19.
Now Shawnee is geared to give it another shot.
Senior Joe Maytubby remembers well the shock and disappointment last year.
“We drove all the way to Tulsa and had sat down to eat (at a restaurant) when we got the call (about the postponement which ultimately led to the cancellation),” Maytubby said. “It feels great to be going, but I wish we could have last year.”
Maytubby is excited with what the Wolves bring into the state tournament this season.
“We're a good, pretty deep team. I feel like we've got a chance,” said Maytubby, who feels like his team has some momentum going. “We need to keep the intensity and played great defense like we did last week.”
Another Shawnee senior Karran Evans believes not playing last season has added a little bit of spark and more determination this time around.
“I feel like we've got something to prove,” Evans said.
Senior Isaiah Willis is pumped and excited after missing the chance last season.
“It's the last hurrah and I'm excited to be with the same guys on the team I have experienced high school life with the last few years,” said Willis.
Getting to this point can be attributed to several things, according to Willis.
“The difference has been defense. We've had a lot more energy, we've moved the ball a lot more, we valued our possessions and played aggressively,” Willis said.
That intensity picked up after Shawnee lost to Tulsa Rogers in the Class 5A regional finals two weeks ago. However, the Wolves responded with two straight wins at the 5A area tournament in Tulsa last weekend in which they routed Bishop McGuinness and knocked off host Bishop Kelley for the area runner-up title.
Shawnee brings a 16-6 mark into Thursday's first-round action while Lawton MacArthur is 21-2 and ranked third in 5A.
MacArthur's Highlanders are coming off a 71-63 victory over El Reno in the area finals last Friday as senior Danquez Dawsey led the way with 32 points.
Junior Jaylon Orange poured in 21 points on 10-of-20 shooting while fellow junior Tanner Morris added 13 and Evans tallied 10 in the area runner-up victory over Kelley on Saturday.
The Wolves will be led into state by first-year head coach Paxton Kilby.
Shawnee girls coming
off win of a lifetime
The Lady Wolves had their backs to the wall in many ways last Saturday, trailing by 25 points entering the fourth quarter and seeing three starters foul out in that final period.
But they got the job done as a 34-7 Shawnee scoring blitz was capped by the Lady Wolves' only 3-pointer of the day – by Amaya Martinez - with five seconds to go as Shawnee earned the pulsating victory.
Martinez led the Shawnee scoring with 16. Aubrie Megehee and Kailey Henry hit the double-digit scoring plateau with 13 and 10 respectively.
After hitting just 7 of 32 shots from the field through the first three quarters, the Lady Wolves were 9 of 17 in the fourth. Additionally, from the foul line, Shawnee was only 17 of 32 for the game, but 15 of 23 in the final period.
Coach Wendi Wells' Lady Wolves, 12-9 on the season, now turn their focus to Sapulpa (16-3).
The Lady Chieftains swept through their three playoff games, including a 55-46 decision over Bishop McGuinness in the area finals last Thursday in Sapulpa.