MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

January 8, 2014

Riders cruise into semifinals

By Ronn Rowland
Phoenix Sports Writer

— The Hulbert Riders slowly and methodically stretched a 14-6 advantage after one quarter to a 10-point halftime advantage and a 16-point lead after three periods in the 74-54 win over Summit Christian Eagles at Ron Milam Gymnasium on Tuesday.

With the win, the Riders (5-2) will play defending Small School boys champion Spiro at 9 p.m. Friday at the Civic Center while Summit Christian gets the Hilldale JV at 9 p.m. Thursday at MHS.

“What I was really happy about is we came together as a team,” said Hulbert coach Darron McCord. “I saw a pick up in assists, in passing and the fundamentals of the game. We’ve been trying to focus more as a team and trying to be a threat without the ball.”

Jordan Gibson led the Riders with 23 points and was one of four Hulbert players in double figures, followed by Dakota Hocks with 14, Mason Fielden with 12 and Rico Wynn with 10. Gibson was aware early on that the Riders force the issue.

“I try to work my hardest and get my teammates the ball every game,” he said.

After the opening quarter, Gibson and Hocks started playing an inside-outside game and it worked as Gibson finished the first half with eight points and Hocks with 10. The tandem continued the assault in the second half when Summit could not decide which player to guard the hardest.

“I just kept my head up down the court and Dakota was there,” Gibson said.

McCord is anticipating how his team will play against Spiro.

“That’s going to be an awesome opportunity for us,” McCord said. “They’re going to be there at the end of the year. We need to use that game as a bench mark for us to see where we’re at.”