The Duncan Banner
Sound the alarm Stephens County, there’s been an upset.
And the culprits are none other then a team of Outlaws, Marlow Outlaws that is.
Thursday night saw head coach John Garrett and his squad book their place in Saturday night’s Stephens County boys championship game with a tough, yet ultimately victorious effort over the No. 5 Velma-Alma Comets with a 50-42 victory.
With the win, the Outlaws not only gained a measure of revenge from a 59-43 defeat to the Comets on Dec. 15, but guaranteed that they will be playing in their first final since 2004.
“Super excited,” Garrett said about his feelings about the victory. “This was a huge win for us. One of our goals was to make the championship and win a tournament. We’re just one step closer to that goal now. We were a little timid in the first half, but came out much better in the second. Those Velma-Alma guys though are deadly, and made things difficult for us.”
Fans on the Marlow side of a packed Outlaw Gymnasium were forced to sweat out the result as MHS didn’t take the lead for good until the 1:53 mark of the fourth quarter at 44-42.
V-A never quite found the groove which had kept them in the contest from that moment on, as the Comets suffered only their third defeat of the season.
It was a far cry from the first half of the game which saw the Comets race out to an 8-0 lead at the 6:21 mark of the first quarter.
Though by the end of the quarter, the Outlaws were well within striking distance at 10-8, before facing a 22-13 deficit going into the halftime break.
Marlow took it’s first lead of the game at 32-31 with 1:35 remaining in the third quarter.
Although when the fourth quarter began, it looked like the Comets were going to take control as a Zac Cable three-point shot gave V-A a lead at 34-32 with 7:36 left in regulation.
“We’ve played much better in the past,” V-A coach Kenny Bare said. “I thought the Marlow kids came out and wanted it more. Hats off to them, they had a good game plan and executed it. They whooped us.”
Zak Key led the scoring for the Outlaws (11-6) on the night with 11 points, followed by Zac Beasler with 10 points. Jackson Huddleston put in nine points, while Wes Coast and Kirby Neufeld each put in eight points, while Nathan Crowson put in three points.
Jaz Gayanich paced the Comets (15-3) with 16 points and seven rebounds, with Dallen Mercer and Zac Cable each scoring 11 points. Checotah Lynn added three points.
Marlow will play the winner of the Frederick/Central High matchup in the championship game on Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. while the Comets will play the loser of the game contest in the third place game at 5:30 p.m. Saturday