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Wolves bounce Broken Bow in semifinals

Brian Johnson
Sports Editor

ADA – When the Shawnee Wolves were backed to the ropes, they delivered a knockout punch Friday night in the semifinals of the East Central Oklahoma Classic at Ada High School.

Shawnee overcame a 47-46 early fourth-quarter deficit by slamming Class 4A seventh-ranked Broken Bow with a 14-0 run in securing a 62-52 victory over the Savages.

The Class 5A fourth-ranked Wolves, 8-1, advance to play host Ada in the finals tonight at 8:30. The 4A sixth-ranked Cougars defeated Collinsville in their semifinal matchup. It will be the third meeting this season for the two teams as Shawnee captured the two previous meetings.

Defense keyed that four-plus minute flurry Friday which enabled the Wolves to take control of the contest like they did throughout the first half and much of the third quarter.

Shawnee led 43-33 at one point in the third before Broken Bow scored 14 straight points to capture the short-lived one-point lead.

“It was another good job by our team defense. It takes everybody to help out and they did,” said Shawnee head coach Ron Arthur. “They have two good guards who can score the ball well. It’s a tough situation when you don’t have any days to prepare for them.”

The Wolves forced 11 Savage turnovers on the night but five came in that critical fourth quarter as Shawnee was able to regain the advantage and hold on to it for good.

J’Briell Easley and KaVeon Sharp had two steals each in the game while Tanner Morris and Karran Evans had one apiece to fuel the defense.

Three Wolves got into double figures in the scoring department as sophomore Jaylon Orange popped in 16, including four 3-point buckets, and 6-foot, 5-inch junior post Isaiah Willis finished with 15 to go with seven rebounds and a blocked shot. Morris, a 6-1 sophomore, connected on three 3-point attempts in tallying 11 points.

Willis was 6-of-9 in posting up from the field and canned 3-of-4 free shots. Orange was 6-of-14 and unleashed a flurry of three 3-point makes in the third and added his fourth in the fourth quarter.

Shawnee also dominated the boards by a 35-21 margin as four Wolves had at least five rebounds. Besides the seven by Willis, the four with five each were Sharp, Easley and Joe Maytubby.

The Wolves overcame 12 turnovers of their own.

Broken Bow’s Junior Crain, who ended up with 11 points, gave the Savages their only lead of the game with a 3-pointer with 7:37 to go in the contest. That’s when Shawnee turned up the defensive intensity, forced some turnovers and nailed a pair of treys in that 14-0 fourth-quarter spree.

Orange sank a trey from the right corner after a kick-out pass by Willis. Willis then posted up for basket off a Morris feed. Evans followed with a basket and Morris popped in a 3-pointer from the left corner and then Willis closed out the spurt with two straight buckets, the second of which was an alley-oop lay-in off a delivery from Orange to make it 60-47 with 1:45 remaining.

Morris had a team-leading five assists in the game while Orange and Sharp had three each. Shawnee had 15 assists on its 24 made baskets. The Wolves shot 47% from the floor and finished the contest with nine treys in the process.

The Savages were limited to 41% shooting while converting just 46% of their free shots (6-of-13). Shawnee was 55.6% from the charity stripe (5-of-9).