TERRELL LESTER

Sports Editor



INOLA — One game was out of hand, and the other game deserved a hand from those assembled in the stands.

Inola opened its home basketball schedule Friday night with a pair of victories over Sperry.

For the girls, it was little more than a scrimmage. Inola scored in streaks and then made sure Sperry could not score except by accident. When it was all over, and it was all but over in the first period, the Lady Longhorns had stampeded Sperry, 77-33.

It was quite a different pace when the boys took the floor. The Longhorns never never able to shake free of Sperry, unlike the girls, but they did put together a solid performance and posted a workmanlike 53-43 victory.



Boys

The Longhorns put on a clinic of Balance and Teamwork throughout the game, but it was sharply evident in the second quarter. They took a 15-9 first-period lead and doubled the score on Sperry before halftime.

Five Longhorns scored in the second period. They scored eight straight points and built a 26-13 cushion with 2 1/2 minutes remaining before halftime.

Jared Cotton scored back-to-back baskets in a matter of seconds, thanks to a quick-handed steal, to make it 30-15 just before Sperry’s Landon McGarry hit a 3-pointer to close the half.

In the second half, Inola reopened leads of 13 and never let Sperry inch closer than eight. The lead hit 14 midway of the final period, and even Sperry reserve Jared Battiest, with nine points in the quarter, could make the Longhorns nervous.

Sperry, which defeated Claremore Sequoyah, 58-52, on Tuesday night, could not find the 3-point range against the Longhorns. Sperry managed to connect on only five of 27 long-range attempts.

Cotton and Tyler Stone scored 15 each to lead Inola. Reserve Jackson Lahmeyer and starter Zach Elseman pulled in eight rebounds each.

For Sperry, Battiest finished with 13 points and nine rebounds. He scored only two points against Sequoyah.

“Our kids played hard,” Inola coach Clyde Barkley said. “I was really proud of the way they played.”

The Longhorns scrapped and battled, dove on the floor for loose balls and climbed the proverbial ladder for errant shots.

“This group is a blue-collar team,” Barkley said. “They just go out and work hard. They go 110 percent all the time.

“That’s the way I expect them to play.”

He might have reason to expect a little better shooting touch in some areas.

The Longhorns downed only one of 11 3-point attempts, and finished with a 39 percent (23 of 59) shooting touch overall. From the free throw line, they were six of 12, including two of six in the fourth period.



Girls

Inola ran the Lady Pirates right into the wall, using some balanced scoring on one end and a feisty defense on the other.

The Lady Pirates were slapped around so thoroughly they could not find the basket for consecutive points but twice.

They committed more turnovers, 40, than they could score points, 33.

Inola strung together 15-point and 11-point runs before the third quarter had reached its midway point.

Inola opened leads of 12 in the first quarter, 28 at halftime, 43 at the end of three quarters, and 46 just before the merciful ending.

Ten Lady Longhorns scored and four were in double figures. Junior Susan Mathews came off the bench and bunched 19 points on eight-of-11 shooting and led everybody with 11 rebounds.

Mathews and senior starter Bailey Gins, who contributed 17 points and eight rebounds, scored in every quarter.

Sophomore post Kelsey Sears counted 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Megan Houck scored 14 points, 12 in the first half.

In Inola’s season-opener on Tuesday, a 66-56 loss at Verdigris, Mathews did not score. And Gins scored nine.



INOLA 53, SPERRY 43

Boys

Sperry 9 9 13 12 — 43

Inola 15 15 11 12 — 53

Sperry — Battiest 13, McGarry 12, Wolf 6, Teel 5, Swartz 4, Apodaca 3, Winters 0, Smith 0.

Inola — Strong 15, Cotton 15, Elseman 10, Alex Weaver 7, Lahmeyer 4, Feemster 2.



INOLA 77, SPERRY 33

Girls

Sperry 9 7 6 11 — 33

Inola 21 23 21 12 — 77

Sperry — Torix 10, Nelson 9, Mizell 6, Bryant 4, Winters 3, Goolsby 1, Haas 0.

Inola — Mathews 19, Gins 17, M.Houck 14, Sears 12, Swanson 4, Crane 4, Robinson 2, Price 2, K.Houck 2, Sanders 1.