By Mike Tupa
Employing the one-two punch of Gavy Myers and Haylee Smith, the Caney Valley Lady Trojans surprised a red-hot Liberty Lady Tigers’ team, 46-39, on Friday.
Caney Valley stumbled into the clash with a 1-3 record in its previous four outings, while Liberty had won its last three games.
But, the Lady Trojans (13-7) turned their flagging momentum into a boomerang of success.
And, they did it the old-fashioned way.
“It was just one of those gritty games,” said Caney Valley head coach Deric Longan. “It was not very fast paced even though we were pressing the majority of the game. We tried to take them out of the flow of their offense.”
Although Liberty (11-8) had employed early on its superior height to gain an advantage, the Lady Trojans had made the right adjustments.
Trailing 20-17 at halftime, Caney Valley dominated the second half, 29-19.
Myers and Smith poured in 16 and 15 points, respectively, to lead Caney Valley, followed by Chenoa Webb and Harlee Smith with a nickel apiece.
Balanced scoring has been a key to Caney Valley’s successful campaign.
“Now, it’s so evenly distributed,” Longan said about the point production. “Almost every other game someone different steps up and has a big game.”
Next up, Caney Valley will play host Tuesday — on Senior Night — to Barnsdall. The Lady Trojans will play their regular season finale at Kiefer, on Friday, and head out a few days later to Oklahoma Union High School to open the Class 2A playoffs.
Caney Valley 46, Liberty 39
Caney Valley 13-4-13-16—46
Gavy Myers 16, Haylee Smith 15, Chenoa Webb 5, Harlee Smith 5, Kaitlyn Clemons 3, Jordan Hunt 2.
Boys: Caney Valley 62, Liberty 30
In a rebuilding season during which victories have been harder to come by than a unicorn’s tooth, the Caney Valley Trojans celebrated mightily their 32-point thrashing of the Liberty Tigers.
“We executed our offense, we hit shots, we smothered them on defense,” said second-year Trojan head coach “Tug” Brinker. “It was just a good, solid team effort.”
Eleven different Trojans contributed to the scoring, led by Erick McLaughlin and Cooper Eden with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
But, in this game, the MVE — Most Valuable Effort — award belonged to tenacious senior bulldog A.J. Young.
To try to shut down Liberty’s best scorer — who averages approximately 30 points a game — Brinker went to a box-and-one, sticking Young with the unenviable defensive assignment of manning up on the troublesome Tiger.
Young not only held his own — he sparkled.
“A.J. Young held him to night points,” Brinker said. “I’ve never had a kid play that as well as A.J. played it. He stuck to him like glue.”
As whole, Caney Valley limited Liberty to single-digit scoring in every quarter.
“Our defense is not our problem,” Brinker said about what has ailed the Trojans. “It’s been our offense. But, tonight, they did the job. They ran sets and ran our offense and rebounded really well. … We’re definitely playing better.”
With two wins now under its belt, Caney Valley is set to play host Tuesday — for Senior Night — to the Barnsdall Panthers. The Trojans ended their regular season with a showdown next Friday at Kiefer.
Caney Valley 62, Liberty 30
Caney Valley 16-18-14-14—62
Cheyton Shepherd 3, Thatcher McIntosh 2, Brandon Fogle 8, Hunter Hines 6, Trent Gagan 3, Cooper Eden 12, Gunner Hawkins 1, Erick McLaughlin 14, A.J. Young 6, Eli Shaw 3, Christian Ballew 4.
Girls: Caney Valley (Kan.) 50,Humboldt 46
A free throw is the simplest play in basketball.
But, it can also be the mightiest.
The Caney valley Lady Pups certainly affirmed Friday night that truth in its four-point win.
Trailing by seven points at the end of the third period, 38-31, Humboldt made a fierce fourth quarter rally.
But, the Lady Pups nailed 8-of-10 charity tosses in the final period — and 12-of-16 for the game — to hold on.
“We started flat-footed defensively, and both twins (Kyndal and Kolbi McIntosh) got in trouble early,” explained Lady Pup head coach Tom Nelson.
As a result, Humboldt led at halftime, 26-19. But, Caney Valley made a 180 in the third period to flip-flop the lead, 38-31.
The Lady Pups built a 14-point lead in the final period, but then had to sweat it out. Kennedy Nunneley and Brea Buoy buried free throws in the last minute “to seal it,” Nelson said.
Kyndal McIntosh finished with 20 points, followed by Buoy with 10.
C. Valley (Kan.), Humboldt 46
Caney valley 14-5-19-12—50
Ally Cunningham 2 0-0 4, Kyndal McIntosh 7 6-7 20, Kolbi McIntosh 1 0-0 3, Kennedy Nunneley 1 3-5 6, Brea Buoy 3 2-2 10, Aubrie Owen 3 1-2 7. Totals: 17 12-16 50.
Boys: Barnsdall 57, Copan 45
Copan’s hopes faded very quickly — in the fog of smothering first-quarter offense by Barnsdall — in this showdown Friday in Barnsdall.
The Barnsdall Panthers dropped in four three-pointers in the opening minutes on their way to a 20-3 lead going into the second quarter.
Down by 18 points at halftime, 35-17, the Copan Hornets made an impressive third quarter revival to pull within seven points, 43-36. But, Barnsdall took care of business in the final period to secure the win.
“My boys slowed down and stopped forcing it on the offensive end,” Panther head coach Clifton Warford said about Barnsdall’s fourth-quarter play. “It’s not always pretty but we are young and getting better.”
Michael Marin racked up 21 points — including six treys — to lead Barnsdall. Christian Warford added 20 points and five assists, while Derek Wilson canned three three-pointers. Jacob Kelley and Heath Moles pulled down 14 and 12 rebounds, respectively.
Copan boasted three double-digit scorers — Colton Raemhild, 15; Kirk Foreman, 14; and Joseph Phelan, 12.
Barnsdall 57, Copan 45
Colton Raemhild 15, Kirk Foreman 14, Dylan Williams 12, Joseph Phelan 4.
Michael Marin 21, Christi Warford 20, Derek Wilson 14, Heath Moles 1, Jacob Kelley 1.
Copan- Raemhild 15, Foreman 14, Williams 12, Phelan 4.
Girls: Barnsdall 68, Copan 38
Even though he praised the progress of the Copan Lady Hornet squad, Barnsdall Lady Panther head coach Joe Gilbert felt pleased his team took care of business.
Paced by Mariah Hatfield with 22 points, the Lady Panthers swept their season series against Copan.
Kaleigh Townley poured in 12 points as Barnsdall’s second-leading scorer.
Caitlyn Eubank added 11 points for Barnsdall, followed by Jasmine Shores with eight, Khailey Sofian with five, Courtney Berry and Bailey Walker with three apiece and Kinnley Bloomfield and Kyndal LeFlore with two each.
For Copan, Breanna Nash nailed four three-pointers to amass 12 points.
Winter Williams added 10 points, followed by Carli Barnett with five, Autumn Weatherspoon with four, Kolbey O’Rourke with four, Rylee Young with two and Kylie Long with one.
Berry and Eubank yanked down eight and seven rebounds, respectively for Barnsdall, while Hatfield seized four steals.
Barnsdall surged to a 19-10 lead in the opening period and extended it to 17 points by halftime, 33-16.
Copan outscored the Lady Panthers, 17-13, in the final stanza.
Barnsdall improved to 10-10.
Copan travels Monday to Oklahoma Union in its final regular season game.
Boys: Humboldt 82, Caney Valley (Kan.) 78
Despite an offensive eruption by senior Baylor Melchiori (36 points), the Caney Valley Pups didn’t keep pace — particularly in the fourth quarter — with Humboldt.
Caney valley led, 57-56, after three quarters.
Melchiori flushed three treys and hit 9-of-13 free throws. Trevor Watson contributed 13 points.
For Humboldt — which is ranked No. 5 — Royce Hoepker tallied 29 points.
Humboldt 82, C. valley (Kan.) 78
Caney Valley 12-25-20-21—78
Royce Hoepker 29, Bo Bigelow 16, Lance Daniels 11, Dayton Splane 11.
Baylor Melchiori 36, Camdyn Melchiori 9, Preston Kastning 7, Trevor Watson 13, Grant Richey 4, Saje Cowell 7, Kaleb Vining 2.