INOLA — If one part of a plan doesn't work, simply switch to something else.
That's what happened for the Inola Longhorns Monday night during the first round of their Jerry Oquin Basketball Tournament.
When seven of eight 3-point attempts in the first quarter failed to find the target, the Longhorns turned to a pass- control offense. The result was a 55-42 win over Grove.
Inola is the only Rogers County school taking part this year in the long-running tournament. The Lady Longhorns will see action at 7 o’clock tonight against the Stilwell Junior Varsity.
Inola advanced to the Thursday night boys semifinals.
Down by four points at the end of the first quarter and then by as many as eight (22-14) early in the second, Inola decided to throw on the brakes. Ironically, a 3-point bucket by Aaron Weaver turned the tide.
Weaver's shot found the bottom of the net this time and Inola was off on a 16-1 run to close the first half.
That was the fuse, but the inside play of Tyler Stone and Jared Cotton caused the explosion. Their play was like one hand clapping the other while they teamed for 14 points as Inola caught and blasted past the Ridgerunners.
Each time down the court, the Longhorn offense continued to pass the ball sometimes as many as eight times while searching for an open shot. While this style was working like a chalkboard-designed play, Inola also started seeing the long ball start going in the basket.
All 12 of Weaver's points came on treys as he hit four of six. Cotton, the game's leading scorer with 16 points, ended the first half with one that allowed Inola to take a 31-23 lead to the dressing room.
Stone also finished with 12 points with half coming in the second quarter.
While Inola was having trey woes in the first quarter, Grove's Michael Macomber put up two quick 3s. Add three regular baskets by Troy Howerton and two from Luke Shoemaker, the Ridgerunners took the opening period with a 16-12 margin.
Shoemaker led Grove with 12 points.
Inola's ball control never allowed the visitors to stage any type of comeback. Even when the Longhorns failed to score, they still managed to rattle off valuable time on the clock. Leading by nine with just over three minutes to play, they didn't lose possession until 1:16 remained.
Inola advanced to 2-1, and Grove fell to 1-2.
INOLA 55, GROVE 42
Grove 16 7 11 8 — 42
Inola 12 19 14 10 — 55
Grove — Shoemaker 12, Macomber 8, Howerton 8, Harding 5, Harjo 5, Hartwick 2, Spychalski 2.
Inola — Cotton 16, Stone 12, Aaron Weaver 12, Feemster 6, Elseman 6, Alex Weaver 2, Lahmeyer 1.
Inola 55, Grove 42
Tahlequah Sequoyah 70, Coweta 51
Fort Gibson vs. Siloam Springs, 5:30 p.m.
Wagoner vs. Stilwell, 8:30 p.m.
Coweta 42, Bartlesville 34
Wagoner 36, Grove 35
Siloam Springs vs. Stilwell, 4 p.m.
Inola vs. Stilwell JV, 7 p.m.