Check all the boxes. Speed, depth, scoring balance and sizzling shooting. Everything was clicking for No. 14 Claremore Tuesday night against Skiatook.
The home-standing Zebras shot 56.2 percent from the floor, placed five players in double figures and saw 12 of 17 score, powering their way to an 84-54 victory over the winless Bulldogs on a night where the Z’s could do little wrong.
“We were really playing with a lot of effort and energy,’’ said Claremore coach Tommy Nolan, whose team improved to 4-2. “We just came out of a tough tournament at Bishop Kelley and we like to get up and down the floor and score in transition. That’s are strength.’’
To showcase their sprint speed, the Zebras meshed 75 percent of their two-point shots, many coming on steals and races to the hoop. Skiatook could not keep pace and trailed 76-39 early in the final quarter. Claremore built a 46-15 intermission lead and the Z’s enjoyed themselves the rest of the way.
“Skiatook is very well coached and their team is very athletic,’’ Nolan said. “They like to shoot three-point shots and we only wanted to give them one and rebound after the first one. We’ve got Pryor coming in next Tuesday and we’ve got to take care of the ball better than we did tonight.’’
Bray Glenn ignited Claremore with 14 points while Caison Hartloff came off the bench for 12. Nate Potts added 11. Jayden Garner tossed in 11 for the Bulldogs, their only twin digit scorer.
Layups came in bunches for the Zebras in the second quarter as they made 11-of-15 shots with only one miss from two-point range. Nolan went to his bench freely in the first half, harassing the Bulldogs while streaking to an insurmountable lead.
SKIATOOK 35, CLAREMORE 32 (girls): Some teams go cold shooting the ball. Others face a blizzard they can’t escape. That’s what happened to the 16th-ranked Lady Zebras against Skiatook.
Claremore came out beating the Lady Bulldogs’ pressure defense and then threaded or shot successfully over a zone. The home team led 16-6 after one period and 21-6 when senior Sophie Stout laced a trey 2:02 into the second period. The temperature then plummeted for CHS.
The Zebras did not score again for 7:26 and went 14:27 without a basket. However, Claremore was still ahead 28-22 when Stout ended the freeze out with another three-ball 29 seconds into the final period. It was only one of two field goals the Z’s scored in the fourth quarter as they finished hitting 22.7 percent.
Skiatook took a 33-32 lead when Taylor Hight score inside with 33 seconds to go. Hanna Dystart converted two foul shots at 13.2 and Claremore could not score again.
Hailey Grant, a 6-1 junior, poured in 12 points to place the Zebras. Emma Anderson, a 6-0 senior, had nine points and nine rebounds for the Bulldogs.