PRYOR, OK —
Pryor senior Corey Horton nailed two penalty kicks to help the Tigers shock fifth-ranked Claremore, 2-1, in district play Tuesday night at Tiger Stadium.
"He's our most experienced player," Pryor head coach Kirk Emerine said. "He's our captain. He's our go-to guy. A couple penalty kicks, I'm pretty confident he's going to make them."
Pryor (5-2, 1-0 District 5A-3) fell behind 1-0 on a Baron Hope goal in the opening minutes before Horton converted his first PK just before halftime to knot the score at 1 heading to the locker room.
In the 43rd minute, a Zebra defender was called for a handball inside the goal box, and Horton's shot went into the lower left corner of the east goal to break the tie.
Claremore head coach Alan Douthitt said Pryor's Taylor Kegley played a huge role in shutting down the explosive striker Hope, especially in the first half.
"We knew No. 6 (Hope) was going to be a handful," Emerine said. "Not having [Quint Ramsey] to defend, we had to put Taylor back there. I had to have Taylor on the field."
Kegley usually plays in a midfield slot, but Ramsey received a red card during the Edison Tournament final for swatting a ball away from the goal with his hand, forcing Emerine to rearrange his lineup.
After the Edison Tournament, Pryor moved into the top 10 for the first time this season at No. 8 in the OSSAArankings.com Class 5A poll Monday.
Emerine said the win over Claremore is "huge," and "should give [Pryor] tons of confidence" heading into the rest of its district slate.
"Claremore, Skiatook, Memorial, they're the three favorites," Emerine said. "I told the guys, you beat Claremore, that's kind of going to shock the district a little bit. They'll see the scores. We beat Nathan Hale at the Edison Tournament, so we know we can play with just about anybody in our district. It's wide open."
The boys' and girls' games were flipped Tuesday, with the girls playing in the nightcap.
Claremore scored a goal in each half and frustrated the Tigerettes all night long to clinch a 2-0 district win.
Pryor (4-3, 0-1 District 5A-3) fell behind 1-0 in the 8th minute on a Paige Noe goal. A Sarah Due free-kick hit the top of the crossbar a few minutes later, but that was as close as the ninth-ranked Tigerettes would come to tying the game.
Chandler Paine scored the dagger for the 10th-ranked Lady Zebras in the 58th minute.
Pryor will host Memorial Friday in a pair of games. The girls kick off against the Lady Chargers at 6 p.m., and the boys will play the 13th-ranked Chargers at 8 p.m.