It was a mad dash to the end of the regular season for the Ryan Cowboys and Cowgirls as they played four contests in eight days in preparation to enter the post-season.
On Tuesday night the Cowboys and Cowgirls dropped a doubleheader at Empire after having swept Temple last Friday night on Senior Night on Raymon West Court.
Last Thursday, the two teams traveled to Turner and split a doubleheader and a week ago Tuesday, Ryan dropped both contests to Geronimo at home.
The Cowboys will enter district play with a 5-16 mark, while the Cowgirls hold a 7-14 record.
The seven wins by the Cowgirls is more victories than the previous two seasons combined.
Here’s a brief look at each contest from the last seven days of action:
Empire 59, Ryan 40 (Boys)
The Bulldogs and Cowboys battled to a 9-9 tie after one quarter, but Empire heated up in the second quarter to seize control of the contest.
The Bulldogs opened the second quarter on a 14-0 run and it wasn’t until Joseph Martin connected on a layup with 4:08 before halftime that Ryan was able to narrow the gap to 23-11.
Empire quickly answered with a bucket and scored six straight and was never threatened again.
The Bulldogs took advantage of 11 Ryan turnovers in the quarter and held a 35-13 advantage at intermission.
The Cowboys trailed 54-24 at the end of the third quarter, but were able to trim the deficit by outscoring the Bulldogs, 16-5, in the final quarter.
Grayson Tomberlin tied his season high with 17 points to lead the Cowboys. He was the only player in double figures.
Empire 59, Ryan 49 (Girls)
The lack of depth that has plagued the Cowgirls through most of the 2018 season reared its ugly head again at Empire.
The Cowgirls battled with the Class 2A Lady Bulldogs through most of the game, but could not finish.
Both teams were tied at 13 after one quarter, but the Lady Bulldogs forged to a seven-point advantage with 3:29 left in the first half.
Juliet Spangler completed a three-point play to trim the lead back to 26-22 with 2:53 before halftime and Kenzie Lewis’ layup with six seconds left brought the Cowgirls to within three at 29-26 going into the break.
Samantha Good opened the third quarter with a three-point basket to tie the score, Spangler connected on a short turnaround jumper and Good hit a short jumper to give the Cowgirls a 33-29 lead with 4:52 left in the third quarter.
Layups by MacKenzie Keith and Lily York gave Ryan its biggest lead of the game at 37-29 at the four-minute mark.
However, the Lady Bulldogs outscored the Cowgirls 13-3 the rest of the third quarter to hold a 42-40 advantage heading into the final quarter.
The Cowgirls pulled to within one point on two occasions in the fourth quarter – the last with 6:05 left in the game when York converted on one of two free throws.
The Lady Bulldogs pulled away from there outscoring the Cowgirls 14-5 to secure the win.
Missed free throws again hampered the Cowgirls as they missed nine attempts from the charity stripe in the final quarter.
York led the Cowgirls in scoring with 15 points, while Good added 11 points. Empire’s Korie Allensworth, a sophomore, led the Lady Bulldogs with 20 points.
Ryan 67, Temple 38 (Boys)
It was a good final home appearance for four Ryan seniors – River Williams, Tate Kimbro, Dawson Tomberlin and Martin.
The Cowboys got off to a 12-5 advantage after one quarter and the Tigers narrowed the gap to 14-10 on Quinzell Tisdale’s two free throws at the 4:25 mark of the second quarter.
However, from there the Cowboys took control and close the half on an 11-0 run to lead 27-11 at the half.
Skyler Parkhill converted a traditional three-point play with just 2.5 seconds left in the third quarter to give Ryan its largest lead of the game – 52-19.
The Cowboys overcame the outstanding performance by Tisdale and he dominated play for the Tigers. He finished with 33 of the team’s 38 points.
Ryan had five players in double figures with Martin leading the way with 15 tallies.
The Cowboys dominated the boards with a 56-26 advantage and many of those came on the offensive end of the court as Ryan outscored Temple, 18-0, on second chance points.
The 56 rebounds ties the school record for most rebounds in a game. The Cowboys hauled down 56 boards in a 2006 game against Grandfield.
The three highest scoring games for the Cowboys in the 2018 season have come against the Tigers and Ryan has now won seven of the last eight meetings with Temple.
Ryan 54, Temple 8 (Girls)
The Cowgirls said goodbye to their lone senior – Lewis – in resounding fashion by totally dominating an outmanned Lady Tiger squad.
The Cowgirls overcame the physical play of the Lady Tigers for a record-setting win. The eight points scored by Temple ties the school record for fewest points in a game by an opponent set in a 1946 game with Sugden.
The Cowgirl defense was stifling throughout the game as Temple did not score a field goal until 44 seconds remained in the third quarter.
Temple was whistled for 25 fouls in the contest – 12 of them in the first quarter. The Cowgirls, however, could only hit seven of 18 three throws in the quarter, but it helped them gain a 12-1 lead and at that point the game was essentially decided.
The overwhelming victory was secured despite a less than stellar shooting performance by the Cowgirls. Ryan was only 14 of 34 from the charity stripe for the game (41%) and connected on only 18 of 61 from the field – a dismal 29.5%.
But, the Cowgirls played nearly flawless in most other categories. Ryan had a season-low six turnovers, while Temple recorded 27.
Ryan outrebounded the Lady Tigers, 52-27, to set the school record for most rebounds in a game. The previous mark was 43 set last year against Temple.
The rebound edge helped the Cowgirls own a 12-0 advantage on second chance points.
The 54 points scored was the highest point total this season for the Cowgirls.
York led the Cowgirls in scoring with 21 points and she contributed four steals. Good added 11 points and Spangler contributed eight points and led the Cowgirls in rebounding with 13 boards.
This was only the second time this season the Cowgirls have won two games in a row.
Turner 40, Ryan 23 (Boys)
The Cowboys suffered from cold-shooting from the field and could not stay up with the Falcons.
Turner jumped out to a 13-7 lead at the end of the first quarter and maintained the margin at the half taking an 18-12 lead into the locker room.
The teams battled on even terms through the third quarter as the Falcons clung to a 27-21 lead, but outscored the Cowboys, 13-2, in the final quarter to secure the win.
The Cowboys were without two players – including one starter.
Andrew Villerreal was the leading scoring for the Cowboys with eight points.
The loss to Turner snapped a three-game winning streak over the Falcons.
Ryan 40, Turner 30 (Girls)
Despite shooting only nine of 19 from the free throw line, the Cowgirls snapped a three-game losing streak with a big victory over the Lady Falcons.
The Cowgirls built a 24-19 lead at the half and then got two critical treys from Good to help extend the lead to 33-25 heading into the fourth quarter.
Good returned to the Cowgirl squad after missing six games with an injury. She led the Cowgirls in scoring with 15 points – one of three Cowgirls in double figures.
Spangler and York each had 10 tallies for the Cowgirls.
The win avenged an earlier 19-point loss to the Lady Falcons in the Healdton Tournament and it ended a five-game losing streak to Turner.
Geronimo 56, Ryan 37 (Boys)
The Cowgirls fell behind 16-4 in the first quarter against the talented Blue Jays and were never really in the contest.
Geronimo increased the lead with 29-10 at the half and held the Cowboys at bay in the second half as each team scored 27 points.
Brock Smith and Villerreal each had eight points to lead the Cowboys in scoring.
The Cowboys have dropped four of the last five meetings with Geronimo.
Geronimo 45, Ryan 33
It was another tough night shooting for the Cowgirls in this fifth straight loss to the Lady Blue Jays.
Geronimo raced to a 26-5 advantage at the half thanks to six three-pointers – four of which came in the second quarter.
The Cowgirls could not keep pace as they connected on only one field goal in the first half.
After trailing 21-6 heading into the fourth quarter, the Cowgirls somewhat found the range and outscored Geronimo, 21-6 to cut the final margin to 12 points.
York paced the Cowgirls in scoring with 16 points – including two treys and four of four from the free throw line.
The Cowgirls have suffered from a lack of depth the entire season and only suited six players for this contest.