Panthers defeat the Bulldogs, 66-48
By Justin Scrimshire
ONL Sports Reporter
The #7 ranked Panthers continued their busy schedule with a road trip to Okmulgee Jan. 3 to take on the Bulldogs. The game would have a hostile energy throughout all four quarters but the Panthers showed discipline and restraint, a testament to solid coaching and the ability to let the scoreboard do the talking.
Okmulgee struck first with a three-pointer. Then the Bulldogs started to feel their own hype after blocking a Panther shot. The Panthers showed no emotional reaction to the Bulldog celebration, responding instead by going on a 9-0 run.
The Panthers closed out the first quarter leading 13-10, with the offensive production coming from Wacey Williams for 5 points, Ethan Hodges with 2 points, Cade Dean with 2 points and Kaiden Bear with 4 points.
Okmulgee took the upper hand early in the second quarter and regained the lead 14-13 before Okemah took control again. Kaiden Bear scored on a layup after stealing the ball, putting the Panthers back on top, 15-13 and Okemah would maintain the lead for the rest of the quarter.
Kaiden Bear would have a second coast-to-coast layup after stealing the ball later in the second quarter and followed the razzle-dazzle up with a buzzer beating three-pointer at the end of the quarter that would send the Panthers into halftime with a 29-26 lead. Cade Dean added 4 more points during the quarter, as did Aaron Little with 3 points and Kurtis Wilson with 2 points.
The Bulldogs came out quick to start out the second half, going on a 7-0 run and a 33-29 lead. Wacey Williams stepped up offensively to put the Panthers back on top, scoring 9 points during the third quarter. Kurtis Wilson hit a three pointer and Cade Dean dropped another 4 points to keep Okemah out front, 45-38, as the third quarter came to a close.
The vibe on the basketball court took a further step toward the edge during the fourth quarter as Okmulgee began to feel the game slip away. The Bulldogs challenged the personal space of several Panthers on more than one occasion, but Okemah never took the bait. Okmulgee managed just 10 points during the fourth quarter while the Panthers dropped another 21 points on the way to their 66-48 win.
Ethan Hodges put up 8 points during the quarter, while Cade Dean added another 9 points. Kurtis Wilson and Kaiden Bear had 2 points each during the fourth quarter as well.
The Panthers travelled to Henryetta on Tuesday, Jan. 7 before participating in the Beggs tournament Jan. 9-11.