Panthers torch Red Devils, 70-44
By Justin Scrimshire
ONL Sports Reporter
There is a universal truth in sports, if you outscore your opponent every quarter, you’re going to win the game. The Panthers checked that box last Tuesday night against Prague inside the Tom Condict Panther Dome.
Beginning with the first quarter where six different Panthers put points on the board, Okemah jumped out to an early 6-0 lead. The fast momentum was sparked by the return of Wacey Williams to the starting lineup after missing the first few weeks of the season. Williams let his presence be known by scoring the first basket of the night and was responsible for 8 of the 19 points scored in the first quarter. Ethan Hodgens, Kaien Bear, Cade Dean, Kurtis Wilson and Aaron Little joined him on the scoreboard and the Panthers led 18-9 at the end of the first quarter.
Cade Dean opened the second quarter with his first three-pointer of the game and would hit six more by the end of the night. The Panthers managed 17 more points in the second quarter with Ethan Hodgens and Kurtis Wilson also adding to the offensive production. Prague tacked on 14 as well but trailed significantly at halftime, 35-23.
Prague drew first blood in the third quarter with a three-pointer, but Cade Dean responded with one of his own. The Red Devils managed just six more points throughout the rest of the quarter as the Panthers defense contested every Red Devil possession. The Panthers outscored Prague 16-9 in the third quarter and extended their led 51-32 going into the final quarter.
Kaide Bear and Kurtis Wilson began the fourth quarter with a little flair as Bear connected with Wilson for an alley-oop. Cade Dean dropped 11 more points on the Red Devils, making him responsible for 26 of the 70 points scored on the night.
A key component to the impressive victory was the Panthers aggression on defense. Okemah out rebounded Prague at both ends of the court all night and never eased up on their pressure, despite a sizable lead. They were rewarded with a 70-44 victory.
Coach Terry gave a nod to his defense after the game and acknowledged the significance of Wacey Williams return. “We can guard so much better on the outside with Wacey under the basket” stated Coach Terry. He emphasized that it didn’t matter whether it was the last guy off the bench or the starting line-up, his goal for the Panthers are to play with intensity the entire game.
The Panthers will continue their season through the holiday break as they have been invited to participate in the Tournament of Champions held at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Dec. 26 – 28. Okemah will begin their portion of the tournament against Tulsa-Memorial on Thursday, Dec. 26 at 8:30.