No. 13 Claremore appeared in mid-season form, shooting 63 percent and making 16-of-27 3pointers in a season- and home-opening 78-51 cruise past 18th-rankd Pryor on Friday at Zebra Arena.
Caison Hartloff delighted a Senior Night crowd by pitching in 31 points, making 11-of-17 shots overall and 8-of-13 from long range. The 6-4 senior missed just two 3-point attempts in the second half as the Zebras raced away for a 36-24 halftime lead.
Claremore displayed pristine execution with just eight turnovers and converting all six free throws. Drake Roark, a 6-foot-2 senior, backed Hartloff with 15 points while Michael McHugh added 10.
Just like the Zebras, Pryor was scorching from the floor, finishing above 50 percent after making 17-of-27 shots entering the final period. The Tigers flamed out in the fourth thanks to Hartloff’s three triples and one each from Roark and Keith Watson.
Pryor’s Josh Gore drilled 11-of-17 shots and finished with 18 points. Dawson Alt contributed 16 points for the Tigers and Nick Jordan added 11.
Pryor remained within striking distance, trailing 48-40 after Jordan knocked down a 3-ball late in the third period. However, Claremore closed the quarter with consecutive 3-pointers from Hartloff and Roark to push the lead to 54-40.
Roark and Hartloff again nailed 3s early in the final frame as the Zebras opened a 60-44 gap. McHugh scored the first six points of the game for Claremore, and the home team never trailed.
Led by three triples from Roark, the Zebras opened an 18-7 firstperiod lead and continued to shoot freely over Pryor’s zone defense.
Down by 14 in the first half, the Tigers did come within 27-20 before Matt Strickland backed in for a turnaround jumper and a 36-22 CHS edge with 32 seconds to go in the first half.
GIRLS | PRYOR 52, CLAREMORE 37: Lacking the depth that 12th-ranked Pryor possessed, Claremore remained solvent until the Lady Tigers turned up their shooting and defensive pressure to pull away.
A minute into the final period, 6-1 senior Ella Claborn drove in for a layup, cutting the Lady Zebras’ deficit to 30-26. Soon afterward, 6-0 senior Rilee Robinson swished a 3-pointer, giving Pryor a 39-26 bulge, and Claremore never came closer again.
The Tigers began trapping the ball in the fourth and forced Zebra turnovers in pulling away. Claborn led the Zebras with 11 points with Grace Bump grabbing 10 rebounds.
Rhett Looney flushed 16 points for Pryor with Alt adding 11 and Brooke Miller contributing 11 points and 12 boards.
Claborn was Claremore’s chief offensive weapon early and teammates attempted to pass to her inside for layups. Meanwhile, Pryor used an advantage in depth and repeatedly fired over the CHS zone.
The Zebras trailed by nine in the second, but rallied to come within 20-18 at intermission.
Down 30-24 entering the fourth quarter, Claremore remained threatening until Pryor ran off nine-consecutive points.