MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

January 8, 2013

33rd Bedouin Shrine Classic Boys Tournament: Muskogee boys take advantage of Checotah misses to win

By Mike Kays
Phoenix Sports Editor

— In a night full of first-round blowouts, Muskogee and Checotah made things interesting in the final contest of the 33rd Bedouin Shrine Classic played at Muskogee Civic Center on Monday.

Checotah Jason Dowdy was left wondering how much more interesting it could have been if not for some missed opportunities in the first half of what became a 61-48 win by the Roughers over the Wildcats.

Checotah was beaten on Muskogee’s glass by an 8-1 count in rebounds in falling behind 24-8 by the end of the opening quarter. Free throws also hurt. While the Wildcats’ DeShawn Jackson was 4-for-4, the rest of the roster was 1-of-11.

It was 32-23 at the half, and the Wildcats kept it near that margin until a final Muskogee push in the final couple of minutes, going up by as many as 16.

“When we went in at the half and tallied up all those missed shots we realized we should have been ahead,” Dowdy said. “We started slow, not in our element and when we decided to pick it up and play, we made a game of it.”

And, in the end, maybe that start had something to do with a couple of As, he noted.

“I thought we’d match up with them athletically and we did, but (Class) 4A Checotah’s been here before and seen 6A Muskogee and gotten beat up pretty good and you remember that. But we fought back and I’m proud of our guys for that.”

Roughers forward Anthony King erupted from a scoreless first half and led Muskogee (4-4) with 15 points, 10 in the third period that saw the lead at 48-32 by the buzzer.

“I just focused and let the game come to me,” the junior said.

Muskogee coach Josh Berry can look ahead to Friday’s semifinal against McAlester, a triple-overtime winner against Hilldale, at 9 p.m. on the Roughers home floor at Ron Milam Gymnasium.

“Any kind of win is good,” he said. “We weathered some storms with foul trouble and they kept coming after us, so any win is something to build on.”

Jackson and Deshay Bear each had 11 to lead Checotah (7-3), which plays Hilldale at 9 p.m. Thursday, also at MHS.

McAlester takes down Hilldale in 3OTs

It was the survival of the fittest.

For at least this Bedouin Shrine Classic Large School boys game, the McAlester Buffaloes topped the Hilldale Hornets 73-69 in three overtimes at Muskogee High School’s Ron Milam Gymnasium on Monday night.

But Hilldale coach Jeremy Rogers wasn’t hanging his head after his team lost its second straight overtime game. The Hornets lost to Okmulgee last Friday at the Hilldale Event Center.

“I’m proud of my guys and how we fought back,” he said. “We made some plays that we didn’t have the past couple of games. The point is we’re getting to overtime. We want to win, but we do fight back and showed a lot of heart.”

Blakely Williams and Zac Skimbo sank a combined three free throws in the last 10 seconds of the third overtime to pull out the victory and improve to 3-6 for the season.

“We just gutted it out,” McAlester coach Jerry McCormick, an assistant principal at Fort Gibson in 2002-08, said as his team ran to the locker room.

It was the only points for Williams in the game and Skimbo’s foul shot was one of three he sank in the extra period.

It was the only points for Williams in the game and Skimbo’s foul shot was one of three he sank in the extra period.

Hilldale slipped to 3-7 for the season and has now lost the last three games by a total of seven points.

The Hornets play at 9 p.m. Thursday at Milam Gym in the consolation bracket, while the Buffaloes advance to the winner’s bracket and the semifinals at 9 p.m. Friday at Muskogee High School.

– Kenton Brooks

Small School:

OKTAHA 71, GRAHAM 29 – Add Larry Seymour to those impressed with the Oktaha Tigers.

His Graham Chieftains fell 71-29 to the No. 2 team in the Okrankings.com Class 2A state poll in the opening round of the Bedouin Shrine Classic.

The Tigers flexed their muscle early, jumping out to a 9-0 lead and later increased that to 16-4 en route to a 28-4 advantage after the first quarter 44-10 and halftime advantage in romping to the 77-77 victory and remain unbeaten through 11 games this season.

Seymour, the coach of the 1-12 Chieftains, said Oktaha’s fundamentals impressed him

“They’re very good and a classy team,” he said. “They could’ve beaten is worse than they did.”

Each of the 13 Oktaha player scored, led by Dustin Leach’s 16 points and Josh Power added 10.

Seth Pevehouse led the Chieftains with 13 points.

The only bad thing that happened for the Tigers is Devon Fry failed in a dunk attempt in the third period. It didn’t matter as Fry’s teammates held a 52-12 lead at the time.

Oktaha advances in the winner’s bracket to the semifinals at 6 p.m. Friday at Muskogee High School against the winner of tonight’s game between Hulbert and Porter.

Graham will play the Hulbert-Porter loser at 6 p.m. Thursday in the consolation bracket at the Civic Center.

SPIRO 78, SUMMIT CHRISTIAN 59 – Tim Perry scored a team-high 17 points to lead four double-figure scorers as Spiro turned back Summit Christian 78-59 at Muskogee High School’s Ron Milam Gymnasium on Thursday night.

Knifeis Carter had 15, McKinley Whitfield scored 11 and Jermaine Jimmerson added 10 for the Bulldogs.

Jeremy Pelotte scored 24 and Jared Minnix added 17 for the Eagles.

Spiro meets the Haskell-Oklahoma City Santa Fe Charter winner at 6 p.m. Friday at the Civic Center in the winner’s bracket. Summit Christian faces the Haskell-OKC Santa Fe Charter loser at 6 p.m. Thursday in the consolation bracket.

– Kenton Brooks