Wolves clamp down on Piedmont, 57-41
The element of surprise wasn’t able to overcome the Shawnee Wolves’ customary relentless defense Friday night at the SHS Performing Arts and Athletic Center.
Class 5A ninth-ranked Piedmont employed a zone defense, but it wasn’t enough to thwart Shawnee’s offensive flow as the third-ranked Wolves rolled to a 57-41 victory over the Wildcats.
“I was kind of surprised they went with a zone. I didn’t anticipate it in this game,” said Shawnee head coach Ron Arthur. “We haven’t worked on zone offense since Jan. 2.”
Tanner Morris tossed in 15 points while knocking down three treys and KaVeon Sharp added 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting from the floor as once again the name of the game was defense for the Wolves, who improved to 10-2 on the season.
Shawnee forced 15 turnovers while creating 12 steals in the process as Sharp and Joe Maytubby each had four in the theft department and J’Briell Easley ended up with three.
“Our defense certainly created a lot of offense,” Arthur said. “I know its sounds like a broken record.”
The Wolves shot 47% from the field for the game and connected on six 3-point attempts on the night. Besides the three by Morris, Karran Evans, Jaylon Orange and Moses Martinez converted one apiece.
Isaiah Willis and Evans chipped in seven points each, Martinez contributed five and Easley and Maytubby tacked on four each.
Shawnee led from start to finish, jumping out to an early 7-0 advantage, leading 13-4 at the end of the first quarter and going on a 10-0 run during the second in ultimately settling for a 28-17 halftime cushion.
Willis nailed two free shots to launch the 10-point spurt and scored off a Sharp assist to end it, making the score 26-9.
The only reason Piedmont was that close was an 8-2 run in the final 1:07 of the half as Doran Hillman landed a 30-foot, 3-point shot at the buzzer to trim the Wildcat deficit to eleven at the break.
Piedmont, 6-5 on the season, closed the gap to nine early in the third quarter, but the Wolves turned up the defensive heat immensely during another 10-0 run.
A Morris trey off an Easley feed, a layup by Sharp off a massive blocked shot by Easley, a Sharp dunk, a Morris score after an Easley steal and another Morris bucket pushed the Shawnee advantage back out to 41-21 with 3:18 to go in the third.
The Wolves’ lead swelled to as big as 24 points twice in the fourth quarter. Piedmont scored the final eight points of the game in the final 2:12 to somewhat slice into the Shawnee lead.
The next action for the Wolves will be 11:30 a.m. Thursday at home against Stillwater in the opening round of the 2020 Vision Bank Invitational.
PIEDMONT 51, SHAWNEE 35 (Girls)
The top-ranked Lady Wildcats forced the Lady Wolves into 24 turnovers and snatched a slew of offensive rebounds to help keep possessions going in the contest.
Piedmont, despite shooting just 28.9%, managed to hold a 33-29 advantage on the boards. But the big difference was the Lady Wildcats’ ability to pull down 18 of those boards on the offensive end.
Delanie Crawford fired in 23 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for a double-double for Piedmont. Crawford nailed 11-of-13 free shots and was 6-of-16 from the floor to go with three steals.
Tyeshia Anderson had a game-leading five steals for the Lady Wildcats, who compiled 12 for the game.
Offensively, Shawnee struggled from the floor, converting only 36.4% of its tries and had only one 3-point make on the night (by Alesia Thomas).
Freshman Esabelle Ramirez had an outstanding night for the Lady Wolves as she recorded a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards while converting 7-of-14 shots from the field.
Amaya Martinez chipped in six points in a losing cause and Aubree Megehee was next with five to go with eight rebounds and a pair of steals. Tristyn Napier also had two steals.
Thomas ended up with four points, including her 3-point basket.
The Lady Wildcats led from start to finish. Up 24-17 at the half, Piedmont opened the third quarter with a 7-1 run to keep Shawnee at bay. The Lady Wolves failed to get a field goal for nearly the first six minutes of the third as the Lady Wildcats pulled away.
Piedmont registered 12 steals on the night, led by the efforts of Anderson and Crawford.
Shawnee’s girls are idle until Thursday when they take on McAlester at 10 a.m. in the first round of the 2020 Vision Bank Invitational.