The Pryor Times

January 12, 2014

LGI: Pirates rumble past Verdigris for title

Chuck Porter
Sports Editor

LOCUST GROVE, OK — Tyler Rowland scored 24 points, tournament MVP Mason Fine added 16 and Locust Grove claimed the 2014 Bank of Locust Grove Invitational championship with a 63-51 win over Verdigris at Pirate Arena Saturday.

"We've been in the finals every year that I've been here, and we've played some good teams," Locust Grove head coach Ronnie Maple said. "That was just a good playoff basketball game. I don't like that the tournament ended up as a three-day deal, but that's how we have to prepare on a Thursday-Friday-Saturday for regional, area and the state tournament."

Class 4A's No. 12 Locust Grove (7-1) never trailed and led by as many as 16 points, but Class 3A's No. 3 Cardinals flew back to make it a 45-43 game late in the third quarter thanks to pressure defense on the perimeter and a few controversial calls in Verdigris' favor.

In the end, the Pirates relied on a familiar formula — get the ball inside to junior big man Colton Pike — to seal the win. Pike scored nine of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, which saw the Pirates reestablish a double-digit lead.

"We knew we'd get some looks inside the way they were taking away our guards late in that third quarter," Maple said. "I'll take Colton one-on-one versus anybody."

Rowland, an All-Tournament selection, rattled in some huge buckets late in the game and emphatically blocked a Laef Payne runner in the closing moments. That put an exclamation mark on LG's victory in an increasingly loud and heated game.

"We missed a couple set calls just because it was so loud, but that's how it's going to be in the playoffs," Maple said. "It's good for us. You get more accustomed to looking around and being aware."

Cardinals Caleb Jones (19 points, eight rebounds) and Cade Upshaw (nine points) were named to the All-Tournament team, joining the Pirates' Zach Robinson and Cascia Hall's Bryce Carter.

Locust Grove's Tyler Halpain scored four points. "My lone senior [Halpain] got to go out and win his own tournament, and I couldn't be more proud of him," Maple said.



Lady Cards bounce LG in title match

LOCUST GROVE — Tournament MVP Baileigh O'Dell lit up Locust Grove for 33 points to push Verdigris to a 60-52 win and the 2014 Bank of Locust Grove Invitational championship Saturday at Pirate Arena.

Locust Grove (6-2) closed an 11-point halftime deficit to two in the third quarter, but behind O'Dell's 22-point second half, Verdigris was able to puff its margin back to 10 and hold off the Lady Pirates down the stretch.

All-Tournament selection Madison Davis led Class 4A No. 10 Locust Grove with 16 points but was held scoreless in the last eight minutes. Kennedy Sokoloski added a dozen points and Morgan Littlebear pitched in 11.

Lady Cardinal Keara Battenfield was named to the All-Tournament team and scored 15 points. Courtney Risenhoover (six points) was also an All-Tournament choice.



Cascia Hall hammers Chouteau for bronze

LOCUST GROVE — Cascia Hall claimed third place in the Bank of Locust Grove Invitational Saturday thanks to a 54-38 win over Chouteau at Pirate Arena.

The undersized Chouteau squad (6-3) held its own in the early going thanks to a trio of treys from guards Trenton Pierce, Champ Bridges and Arlis Alsip, but Cascia surged ahead in the middle quarters, outscoring the Wildcats 28-13 in that crucial stretch.

Derek Cole led the Commandoes with 16 points, while Patrick Kaltenbacher scored 10.

Bridges' 10 led the Wildcats. Alsip added eight.



Condit's huge game not enough for Salina

LOCUST GROVE — Kennedy Cox scored 25 points, helping Cascia edge past Salina in a third-place contest at the Bank of Locust Grove Invitational Saturday.

The win negated a huge game from All-Tournament selection Courtney Condit, who led Salina (3-6) with 24 points and 10 rebounds to go with five assists.

Cascia's Savvy Hart nailed two free throws to put the Lady Commandoes up by one (66-65) with six seconds on the clock. Salina inbounded under its own goal and covered the length of the floor. The Lady Wildcats found an open look for Condit, but her potential game-winning 3-pointer left her hands after the clock had already expired.

Kaisee Moore and Shaylee Morgan each chipped in 12 points for the Lady Wildcats.

Hart had 10 points in support of Cox, another All-Tournament choice. Cascia's Marjorie Rooney added a baker's dozen, and Reagan Derr poured in 14 points off the bench.



Backward's 22 gives 'Cats consolation crown

LOCUST GROVE — Salina senior Cale Backward scored 22 points to lead Salina past Keys, 65-53, in the Bank of Locust Grove Invitational consolation title game Saturday at Pirate Arena.

Wildcat big men Colton Burgess and Tyler Underwood combined for 25 points in support of Backward, who was left off of the All-Tournament roster despite averaging 26.5 points per game during the weekend.

Chris Stayathome notched a game-best 24 points for the Cougars. Colton Cox added a baker's dozen and Wyatt Hix pitched in nine.

Salina (5-4) surged above .500 for the first time this season with the victory.



Westville trips Ladycats in 7th-place rematch

LOCUST GROVE — Westville jumped out to a 19-3 lead after one quarter and stung Chouteau with a 57-34 loss Saturday in the Bank of Locust Grove Invitational seventh-place game.

It was Westville's second consecutive seventh-place tournament win over Chouteau (1-8). The last was a win in the Adair Invitational in December.

Westville's Maddie Nickens led all scorers with 16 points. Teammate Haley Pettigrew supplied 15.

Chouteau was led in the scoring column by Allison Grossman's 12. Karlee Alberty added 10.