The Ponca City Ladycats and Wildcats will get back to the hardwood tonight in Classen after splitting their last matchups with Blackwell. The Ladycats were able to take over in the 2nd quarter and overwhelm Blackwell winning 68-16. The men on the other hand had a back and forth intense battle, but fell 45-43.
In the women’s game, the Ladycats had to shake off some rust from a 10 day layoff only scoring five points in the 1st quarter. The defense was efficient though as they held Blackwell scoreless in the 1st. That’s when Sophomore Ryley Beard took over. Beard was hitting shots from all over the court and finished the game with 27 points includng seven, 3-pointers. Beard was on fire throughout the night and even banked in a 3 right before the horn sounded for halftime. The other star for Ponca City was Madison Birnbaum. She finished with 11 points but did most of her damage on the other end, blocking unofficially 10 shots. Even when she didn’t block a shot, she got her hands up and made it difficult for any Lady Maroon player to get off a clean look. In fact, the Lady Cats defense played so well that only 3 girls scored for Blackwell. There was one negative that came out of the game. Sophomore guard Baylee Fincher went down holding her knee in the 3rd quarter and had to be carried off the court. We have confirmed that Fincher will miss the rest of the season with the knee injury. That’s a big blow for this Lady Cats team which was picking up steam heading into the playoffs. But, if this game is any indication, there are still plenty of girls that can pick up the scoring for this team. Other scoring: Ally Jennings 6, Jayla Pappan 5, Julissa Garcia 4, Fincher 3, Carlie Badley 3, Karis Branstetter 3, Amaya Chandler 3 Trinity Reginer 3.
The boys game was highly contested throughout but some hot shooting by Blackwell’s Braydn Lute kept Blackwell in front down the stretch run. Lute scored 21 points for the Maroons and hit some crucial 3’s. Ponca City, has also had several injuries, losing Justin Thompson for the season and Chase Matson also couldn’t go in this game so coach Keenan Curry went with a bigger lineup, starting Sheldon Tawkoyty and it paid off. Tawkoyty used an array of post moves along with sealing off the smaller Blackwell players and scored a season high 21. Ponca City took a 10-7 lead at the end of the 1st and an 18-15 lead into half. In the 2nd half though the lack of depth started to show for Ponca City. The pace would start to slow down and turnovers would show up after a relatively clean 1st half. In the 4th quarter, after Blackwell grabbed the lead, Lute would block a shot by a Wildcat and stare him down. The referees did nothing to stop the obvious display of taunting and Curry would step in to defend his player and quickly received two technicals and was ejected from the game. While the Wildcats would use that energy to tighten things up after a Anthony Gazaway three and a steal and three by Chazz Shymanski, the Wildcats simply ran out of time and fell by two. Shymanski scored 8, Gazaway 7, Luke Seals 6 and P.O. Seals hit one free throw. Due to Oklahoma High School rules, Curry will not be able to coach for tonight’s game.