Wolves crush El Reno for third place

Brian Johnson
Sports Editor

The Class 5A third-ranked Shawnee Wolves took a bounce-back game to extreme levels Saturday.

After suffering a semifinal loss to Choctaw Friday in the 2020 Vision Bank Shawnee Invitational, Shawnee raced out to a 13-0 advantage through one quarter and hammered the El Reno Indians, 61-23, Saturday in the third-place game of the tournament.

“It was an excellent bounce-back game. We did a great job of coming out, getting the lead and building on it,” said Shawnee head coach Ron Arthur.

The Wolves maintained that margin of lead by halftime (23-10). After the Indians pulled within 25-13, Shawnee reeled off 19 unanswered points while limiting El Reno to just five in the period.

“It was a huge third quarter. We told the kids we needed to come out (after halftime) and have spunk and pep in our step. We wanted to go make some plays at both ends of the floor and did,” Arthur said.

Three Wolves reached double figures as Tanner Morris led the way with 12 points, Isaiah Willis followed with 11 and Ka’Veon Sharp tallied 10.

Jaylon Orange scored all eight of his points, including two 3-pointers, in the first quarter and Moses Martinez, off the bench, also finished with eight points, including a pair of treys.

Shawnee also owned a massive rebounding advantage at 42-29 as Karran Evans, in a reserve role, led the way with eight to go with his five points. Willis collected six boards and J’Briell Easley ended up with five.

Rim protection also played a pivotal role for the Wolves as Easley, Willis, Evans and Jeffery Hall each recorded a blocked shot.

Morris, who was named as an all-tournament performer, was also credited with three steals.

While holding El Reno scoreless in the opening quarter, the Wolves jumped on El Reno early as the 13-0 spurt was launched by a Morris 3-pointer and a Willis post-up bucket. Orange then drained a 3-pointer from the right corner and followed that up with another trey before scoring the last basket of the quarter with two seconds remaining.

That 13-point lead stood up until intermission. Sharp had a basket to lead off the third and the Indians’ Cherwin Black responded with a trey to trim the deficit to 25-13.

But that’s when Shawnee made the lengthy run, sparked by five straight points from Willis – a basket via assist from Morris and a dunk off a feed from Orange which led to a conventional 3-point play.

Morris went on to score seven points, including two treys, during that span. Martinez popped in a trey and short-range shot. Sharp provided two scores, including one off a fast-break layup, and Willis had one more basket off an Easley assist during that run as the Wolves padded their lead at 44-13 late in the third. It was 48-15 at the end of the third when Sharp scored at the buzzer.

Shawnee, 12-3, will host top-ranked Del City Friday night at the SHS Performing Arts and Athletic Center at 7:30 p.m.