In a tough opening matchup between the 9th ranked Lady Cats and the 3rd ranked Lady Sandites, a slow start for Ponca City was too much to overcome as the Lady Cats fell in their opener 77-61. The Lady Cats had a tough start only scoring 10 points in the opening quarter, while Sand Springs was red hot scoring 22, 8 of those coming from their star Jr. guard Destiny Johnson. Ponca City came back strong in the 2nd qt, as Julissa Garcia scored 11 pts and Baylee Fincher found her touch from the outside, but Ponca City still trailed at half 43-31. The Lady Cats picked up their play after coach Jody Fincher picked up a technical foul midway through the 3rd, and all three main scorers for the Lady Sandites got into foul trouble, but still trailed by 11 heading into the 4th. In the 4th though, Destiny Johnson took over the scoring, putting in 12 points on her way to a 31 point night and secured the victory for the Lady Sandites. Ponca City was without two of their main players in Ryley Beard and Madison Birnbaum. On the night, Julissa Garcia led the scoring with 22, followed by Fincher with 20 and 12 rebounds and Kiersten Crowder finished with double figures with 11 pts. Trinity Reginer chipped in with 5 and Carlie Badley knocked down 3 free throws. As a team, the Lady Cats finished with 23 rebounds, 6 steals, 8 assists and 1 block.
In the boys game, the young inexperienced Wildcats were just overmatched by the #12 Sandites losing by the score of 77-34. Sand Springs got out to a 15-0 lead before Ponca City’s first and only points of the 1st qt by Chazz Shymanski. Coach Keenan Curry has a rebuilding process ahead of him with Shymanski being the only returner that played significant minutes last year. His lineup features three Freshman, four Sophomore’s, one Junior and one Senior. Ponca City settled down in the 2nd quarter and got a nice contribution from Sheldon Tawkoyty off the bench. The Wildcats trailed at half 44-15. The second half also saw the Wildcats step up their defense as Anthony Gazaway took two charges and Chase Matson redirected some shots. All in all, it was a great effort for the young Wildcats against a solid opponent. Shymanski led Ponca City with 9 pts, followed by Tawkoyty with 7, Matson with 6, Gazaway and P.O. Seals scored 4, Steven Faulkner hit 3 at the buzzer and Luke Seals had one free throw. Ponca City was out rebounded by a 33-17 margin and had double digit turnovers which they’ll have to clean up moving forward.
The Varsity teams will be back in action Friday at El Reno.