Claremore Daily Progress

December 21, 2013

Zebras hang tough in 70-55 loss to Coweta

Tim Ritter
Sports Editor

CLAREMORE — One step at a time, great things happen.

Three games into the season, that remains to be the philosophy of the Claremore Zebras.

Despite losing their second-straight Metro Lakes Conference game Tuesday night, the Zebras continue to show positive signs of playing with a ‘never-say-die’ attitude.

Though Coweta came away with the 70-55 victory, the Zebras continue to build a foundation that hopefully pays large dividends down the stretch of their season.

Claremore (1-2) stayed on the heels of Coweta in the first quarter and trailed 24-16.

T.J. Wood’s three-pointer with 2:42 left in the opening quarter cut Coweta’s lead to 14-12.

Two plays later, Hutch Helbig knocked down a 10-foot jumper that once again cut into Coweta’s lead at 16-14.

A three-pointer and 12-foot jumper by Coweta’s DeVante McCool increased the Tigers’ lead to 21-14 with 1:09 remaining.

Caleb Norris’ three-pointer — his second in the first quarter — pushed the margin to 24-14 in favor of Coweta.

Norris and the inside presence of Cagney Roberson took over in the second quarter as Coweta outscored Claremore, 14-9, and carried a 38-25 lead into halftime.

Norris and Roberson combined for 19 points in the first half — 15 of those coming on four treys and a 3-of-4 free throw performance by Norris.

Reid Joyner teamed with Truman Burrage to score 16 of Claremore’s 25 points in the first 16 minutes.

Joyner had 10 points in the opening half — six coming in the second quarter to keep Claremore within reach of Coweta.

Roberson’s third-quarter scoring spree allowed Coweta to build a 48-30 lead with 4:59 remaining.

Back-to-back jumpers from Helbig and Jeff Oxford’s driving layup cut into Coweta’s lead at 54-41 with 2:16 left.

Oxford continued to be Claremore’s offense in the third quarter with a 10-foot jumper that brought Coweta’s lead to 59-43.

On the night, Oxford led Claremore with 14 points while Joyner added 12 and Wood contributed with 11. Helbig also finished with eight points.

Norris led Coweta with 21 points.