RUSH SPRINGS —
Friday night saw three Stephens County teams in action at the 30th Annual Black Diamond tournament in Rush Springs.
While Central High and Velma-Alma were looking for spots in the boys championship game, Bray-Doyle was aiming for a berth in the girls consolation championship game against the Lady Demons of Dibble High School.
VELMA-ALMA 70 APACHE 55
It didn’t take long for the No. 6 Comets to assert their authority against the Warriors.
An early 20-8 first quarter lead set the tone as V-A rolled to a 70-55 victory, earning a fourth straight berth in the boys championship game.
“I’m proud of the boys,” V-A coach Kenny Bare said. “They came out focused on what we needed to do. Our goal was to advance to the finals and we did that. All of our guys did their assignments on offense and defense. A lot of our baskets came off assists and that’s always a good sign.”
Apache threatened momentarily late in the fourth quarter, getting the deficit down to eight points at 63-55 with 50 seconds left.
But, the Comets quickly shut the door with a 7-0 run to finish off the game.
V-A took a 25-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, before bringing a 44-24 lead into the locker room for halftime.
58-39 was the advantage for the Comets (12-1) at the end of the third quarter.
Jaz Gayanich and Dallen Mercer both registered double-doubles on the evening for the Comets.
Gayanich finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds, while Mercer totaled 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Zac Cable added 12 points while Checotah Lynn and Connor Sullivan each scored six points.
Apache (7-5) was led by Daniel Coffman with nine points. Grant Stanley, B.J. Denton and Jordan Littrell all scored six points.
STERLING 73 CENTRAL HIGH 63
Cold free throw shooting can stop a team dead in its tracks at any time.
Central High found out the hard way just how true that was against No. 5 Sterling in the semifinals.
A 12-of-31 performance from the free throw line cost the Bronchos valuable points, and proved to be the difference as the Tigers survived 73-63.
“It’s hard to win a game when you shoot like that from the free throw line,” Central coach John Nease said. “It’s disappointing because it’s something we work on a lot in practice. I think it just comes down to nerves and we just let them get the best of us tonight. It doesn’t matter who were up against, our boys are going to keep working hard and putting out effort.”
Sterling’s biggest lead of the game came at the end of the third quarter when the Tigers were up 55-37.
But, the lead didn’t come easy as the Bronchos made life difficult all game long.
Despite being down as much as 12 in the first half, CHHS managed to cut the deficit to single digits before halftime, only being down 32-24.
With 6:19 left in the third, it looked as though the Bronchos were right back in the mix at 37-30.
But, as was the case the entire game the Tigers made their free throws, finishing 22-of-32 from the line.
Dallin Ferrin scored a team-high 20 points for the Bronchos (8-3), with Kevin Harris not far behind with 17 points.
Zarek Hickman added 12 points, with Matthew Quisenberry adding six points. John Repp also put in four points in the contest for the Bronchos.
Sterling (16-1) was paced by Trevyn Woolbright who led all scorers with 30 points, followed by Mickey Milam with 17 points.