WELCH — A fourth quarter stretch that saw Wyandotte take advantage of six straight empty possessions by Fairland helped the Bears pick up a 78-53 win in the boys’ championship game at the Kenneth Sooter Invitational here Saturday, Dec. 16.
The Bears had carried a 58-45 into the fourth quarter, but a 24-3 burst broke the game open.
“That kinda separated us.,” Wyandotte coach J.K. Wayne said.
“They did a really good job of attacking our press early,” Wayne said. “We didn’t do a real good job of adjusting. I think we were trying to break it. I give them credit for that. We had to get in to our man. We wiggled it around a bit to shade some people. It paid off.”
The Bears fell behind 5-0 in the opening minutes then finally got things untracked.
“That’s been our MO here lately: we’ve started slow a few times,” Wayne said. “We’re not shooting the ball quite as well as we would like to — or as good as we think we can, but we find a way.”
Fairland carried a 22-18 lead into the second quarter then the Bears opened up a 42-35 advantage at the half.
“For 32 minutes, we run up and down the floor,” Wayne said. “We practice and work on it, just keep after people.”
Tournament MVP Ryan Cooper had a game-high 24 points for the Bears, who had three others score in double figures.
Trey Jones hit 20 and Jordon Burney and Jacob Burney chipped in with 13 each.
Brendan Cooper and Justin Campbell scored six and two, respectively, for Wyandotte.
Thatcher Smalley scored 15 and Isaac Mathews added 10 for Fairland.
The Owls also got nine from Cole Cawlfield, seven from James Morris, six from Trey Martin and two each from Andrew Barker, Jose Garcia and Jay Padberg.
“They are a quality ballclub,” Wayne said of the Owls. “ We had to play well tonight and play hard. They are good. We have them two more times. It will make us both better playing people like that.
“They are a much improved team. Kent (Marshall) is doing a good job.”
In other games on the final day of the tournament:
Boys third — Welch 59, Watts 55
The Wildcats overcame a 17-14 deficit and used a 21-11 burst in the fourth quarter to pull away.
Braxton Turner poured in 33 points. He drilled five three-point goals. Trenton Seigel also had 14.
Darius McClelland scored 20 and Blayn Harlin netted 15 for Watts.
Boys fifth – Commerce 46, Quapaw 39
The Tigers stretched a 20-15 halftime lead into a 16-point advantage heading into the final stanza.
Lupe Prado and Hunter Burkybile added 14 each for Commerce.
Quapaw picked up 14 points from Drayven Blunk and 12 from Kai Anderson.
Boys Seventh — Foyil 51, Commerce JV 16
The Panthers broke out to a 13-3 lead in the first quarter and continued to pull away.
Foyil picked up 13 points from Mason Vazquez and 10 from Jordin Fortin.
Aaron Shelton scored six points for the Tiger JV.