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Friday, September 30, 2022
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Strong Second Half Performance Propels Ryan to Victory

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…Cowboys score 30 unanswered points to win season opener

The Ryan Cowboys rallied from an 18-point deficit to earn a hard-fought 30-18 victory over Thackerville last Friday night at Bob Givens Sports Complex.

The Cowboys are back in action tomorrow night when they will play host to Wilson. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in the contest that was originally scheduled to be played at Wilson.

The Eagles will bring a 1-1 record to Ryan after dropping a 56-6 verdict to Hollis. Wilson won its season opener with a 56-8 victory over Thackerville.

There is an old saying in the sports world – “it was a tale of two halves.”

And, that saying could describe perfectly what happened last Friday night on the Cowboys home turf.

Thackerville took advantage of two Ryan turnovers and some critical Ryan mistakes to hold an 18-0 lead at the intermission.

But, the Cowboys came out of the locker room in the second half and executed offensively and defensively to near perfection in putting up 30 points to come away with the first victory of the 2022 season.

Thackerville received the opening kickoff and moved from its own 28 to the Ryan 16 in 12 plays using 5:05 of the first quarter clock, but the Ryan defense came up with a big fourth down stop and the Cowboys took over on downs.

The Cowboys struggled offensively to open the contest. The next Cowboy possession netted only 21 yards and was hampered by two Ryan penalties.

A fumble recovery by the Wildcats’ Bryson McGilvray ended the drive and gave the Wildcats the ball at the Ryan 34.

 On the first play, Austin Tyre got behind the Ryan defense and caught a pass and slipped a Cowboy defender to complete a 34-yard scoring play. The two-point conversion failed, but the Wildcats had a 6-0 lead with 49 seconds left in the first frame.

 The two teams exchanged punts and after a Ryan penalty on a punt return the Cowboys set up at their own 33.

 The Cowboys moved to the Thackerville 29 after a brilliant catch by Julian Rodriguez that resulted in a 24-yard gain, but on the next play, the ball was snapped over the head of the quarterback and the gain was nearly wiped out.

Another sack of quarterback Racen Williams and a short run had the Cowboys in a fourth and long. Hoping to catch the Wildcats off guard, Ryan called a fake punt, but was stopped after a seven-yard gain.

This gave Thackerville possession at midfield and it took the Wildcats 11 plays to get another score.

Tyre caught a 13-yard pass from Justice Rodriguez for the touchdown. The Cowboys again stopped the two-point conversion, but with only 2:32 left before the half, the Wildcats increased the lead to 12-0.

 Ryan’s offense sputtered once again as McGilvray fell on another Ryan fumble giving the Wildcats the ball at the Ryan 25.

Justice Rodriguez again found Tyre open on the first play of the possession and the pair connected on a 25-yard scoring play with just 26 seconds left in the first half. The Cowboy defense again stopped the two-point conversion, but the Wildcats took an 18-0 lead at the half.

The Cowboys were a different team in the second half and it was on display on their first possession.

Ryan took the ball to start the second half \ at its own 34 and three rushes by Carsen Rodriguez produced 15 yards.

On a third down play, Williams got outside around the right end and sped 51 yards for the Cowboys’ first score. Williams ran for the two-point conversion and the lead was trimmed to 18-8 with 10:14 showing in the third quarter.

The Wildcats looked like they would answer the Cowboy score as they marched from the Thackerville 32 to the Ryan 11, but the Cowboy defense rose up and the next four plays produced only two yards and Ryan took over on downs at its own nine.

It took only three plays to drive 91 yards with the big play being an 83-yard touchdown by Williams. After a bad snap, Williams went right, got around the corner and then broke toward the middle of the field and outran the Wildcat defense to the end zone.

Xavier Guzman added the two-point conversion and with 5:30 left in the third quarter the Cowboys had drawn to within two points at 18-16.

At this point, the momentum shift was on full display.

The two teams exchanged possessions and after a short Thackerville punt early in the fourth quarter, the Cowboys launched the go-ahead drive.

The Cowboys went 60 yards in 10 plays – overcoming a penalty and converting two fourth downs – for the score.

ELUDING A WILDCAT – Ryan’s Racen Williams (1) tries to get past Thackerville defender Justice Rodriguez (5) during last Friday’s night’s 30-18 victory over Thackerville in the season opener for the Cowboys. 
(Photo by Shelley Villerreal)

On the second fourth-down conversion, Guzman found Julian Rodriguez for a 21-yard completion and then on first down at the 16, Guzman took the ball around the left side and raced into the end zone for the score.

After a five-yard penalty on the try for two points, Williams found Julian Rodriguez for the successful two-point conversion and Ryan had its first lead of the season, 24-18, with 5:38 left in the game.

On the Wildcats’ next possession, Ethan Burden intercepted a Wildcat pass and raced 61 yards for what was thought to be a clinching score. But, a penalty after the interception on the Cowboys erased the return, but Ryan did have possession with 4:05 left in the game at the Cowboy 39.

The Cowboys needed to melt the clock but faced a third-and-15 at its own 34 when Williams found Will Townsend behind the Wildcat defenders for a 30-yard pass completion.

The next two plays resulted in 25 yards of penalties assessed to the Wildcats and Ryan was at the Thackerville 11.

On the first play, the Cowboys fumbled, but Kyson Tomberlin wrestled the ball away from the Thackerville defender to allow Ryan to retain possession.

On the next play, Guzman took off around the right end and eluded a Thackerville defender at the goal line for an 11-yard touchdown run. Guzman’s run for the two points was stopped at the goal line, but Ryan had a 30-18 lead with only 1:36 left in the game.

The Wildcats got possession at midfield, but with no timeouts they were forced into hurry-up mode.

Thackerville made one first down, but a 15-yard penalty with only 37 seconds left put the Wildcats into a fourth and long situation and a running play came up short of the line to gain and Ryan took over on downs and the clock expired.

Williams led the Cowboys in rushing with 193 yards on just 18 carries.

Foreman Casebolt was brilliant on defense for the Cowboys with 12 solo tackles and two assists.

Guzman added seven solo tackles – including two key stops during the contest. He also had an assisted tackle.

COWBOY CORRAL: This was the first victory in a season opener for the Cowboys since the 2017 season when the Cowboys downed Thackerville, 40-8…The 30 points scored was also the most points scored by Ryan in a season opener since that 2017 contest with the Wildcats….This was also the first season-opening win by the Cowboys under fifth-year coach Tony Tomberlin….The Cowboys are 4-2 in season openers played against Thackerville….With this win, the Cowboys are now 58-39-6 in season openers, but have dropped seven of the last nine season openers….Ryan is 11-11 in season openers since the turn of the century and stand at 27-17 since beginning eight-man play in 1978….The Cowboys lead the series with Thackerville, 22-11….The win over the Wildcats broke a three-game losing skid against Thackerville.

 Game in Figures

                                    THS            RHS

First Downs               19              17

Yards Rushing         41-199     45-265

Yards Passing          125           92

Passes                       8-19          4-8

Passes Int. By          0                1

Fumbles, Lost          3-0            3-2

Punts                          2-15.5       1-35

Penalties                   6-55          12-110

                  SCORE BY QUARTERS

Thackerville           6                12              0                0—18

Ryan                     0                0              16             14—30

                  SCORING SUMMARY

                  FIRST QUARTER  

THACKERVILLE – Austin Tyre 34 pass from Justice Rodrigue (run failed), :49

                  SECOND QUARTER

THACKERVILLE – Tyre 13 pass from Rodriguez (run failed), 2:32

THACKERVILLE – Tyre 25 pass from Rodriguez (run failed), :26

                  THIRD QUARTER

RYAN – Racen Williams 51 run (Williams run), 10:14

RYAN – Williams 83 run (Xavier Guzman run), 5:30

                  FOURTH QUARTER

RYAN – Guzman 16 run (Julian Rodriguez pass from Williams), 5:38

RYAN – Guzman 11 run (run failed), 1:36

                  INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

THACKERVILLE: Rushing – Lucas Rickwa 11-63, Aziz Hernandez 12-59, Justice Rodriguez 9-43, Austin Tyre 7-24, Andy Cabrera 2-10; Passes – Rodriguez 8-19-125-1; Receiving – Tyre 4-102, Cabrera 1-16, Hernandez 1-5, Rickwa1-1, Micah Wolfe 1-1.

RYAN: Rushing – Racen Williams 18-193, Carsen Rodriguez 20-56, Xavier Guzman 6-39, Team 1-(1-23); Passes – Williams 3-7-71-0; Guzman 1-1-21; Receiving – Will Townsend 2-47, Julian Rodriguez 2-45; Tackles – Foreman Casebolt 14, Guzman 7.5, Williams 5, J. Rodriguez 4, Larry Sewell 3, Mason Adsit 3, Andrew Scott 2.5, Will Townsend 2, Maddox Dabbs 1, Daylen Vandoozer 1, C. Rodriguez 1, Ethan Burden 1, Will Regher 1, Aaron Ortiz 1, Kyson Tomberlin .5, Alex Uribe .5.

Eagles Paste Destiny In First Road Trip of the Year

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…Trip to Del City Ends with Mercy Rule Victory at the Half

 An array of big plays and four turnovers by Destiny Christian allowed Waurika to post an impressive 56-6 victory over the Wildcats in Del City last Friday night.

The game ended at halftime because of the mercy rule.

Every touchdown for the Eagles was 22 yards or more and four of them were 50 yards or more – including a 68-yard fumble return by Isaac Camarillo.

The Wildcat defense provided little resistance as the Eagles ran only 23 offensive plays in the one half of play and one of those was a punt and six others were scoring plays.

Meanwhile the Eagle defense produced four turnovers – three of which were interceptions.

Waurika scored four times in the first quarter and three more in the second quarter to record its first win of the year.

Camarillo started the scoring barrage at the 10:46 mark of the first quarter when he hauled in a 35-yard scoring pass from Treyton Torrez. Trent Arellano ran for the two-point conversion to give the Eagles an early 8-0 advantage.

Jake Smart scored the first of his two touchdowns for the next Waurika score. His 22-yard scoring run was the shortest scoring play of the night and came with 6:52 left in the first quarter. Smart added the two-point conversion and Waurika was in front, 16-0.

T. Torrez got his first of two rushing touchdowns for the next Waurika score. The Waurika quarterback busted free for a 67-yard scoring jaunt and Smart ran for the two points and with 3:14 left in the quarter Waurika built a 24-0 lead.

Destiny Christian got on the scoreboard for the only time with just 12 seconds left in the first quarter. Dennis Dibie caught a 32-yard scoring pass from Jason Ramsey. The try for two failed, but the Wildcats had cut the lead to 24-6.

The Eagles were not done scoring as they took possession following the kickoff at the Destiny Christian 48 and on the first play T. Torrez found Gavin Torrez for a 48-yard pass and catch as time expired in the first quarter. When T. Torrez ran for the two points, the first quarter ended with Waurika in front, 32-6.

 Early in the second quarter, T. Torrez got away from the Wildcats again and he sped 50 yards for the touchdown. Smart ran for the two points and with 8:27 remaining before halftime, the Eagles had increased the lead to 40-6.

The Wildcats began a drive on their next possession, but it ended when Camarillo picked up a fumble and raced 68 yards for the score. Arellano added the two-point conversion and with 5:48 left in the second quarter Waurika had upped the margin to 48-6.

The final score of the night came after another Wildcat turnover. This time it was Smart who broke free and rambled 55 yards for the score with 5:04 left before intermission. When Gunner Myers ran for the two points, the final margin was set.

Smart and T. Torrez each eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark. Smart had just five carries for 137 yards, while T. Torrez racked up 108 yards on only four carries.

The Eagles used the big plays to compile 264 yards rushing on only 16 attempts or a 16.5 per carry average.

EAGLE FLIGHTS: The Eagles are now 1-1 on the season and will take a week off before entertaining Grandfield on September 16 for homecoming….The Bearcats are 1-1 heading this week’s game with Fox and they broke an 11-game losing streak with their win over Paoli last Friday night….The 56 points scored by the Eagles last Friday marks the 18th time the Eagles have scored 56 or more points  under fifth-year head coach Joe Allen….The 56 points scored is the most since the Eagles put up 66 points last season against Canton….It is the 27th time since Waurika began eight-man play that the Eagles have scored 56 points or more in a game….This was the first meeting with a private school since a 2020 playoff game with Southwest Covenant and the first regular season meeting with a private school since a 54-6 loss to Oklahoma City Christian Academy in the 2013 season….Waurika is 4-2 in school history against private schools and if you add in meetings in the past with Ft. Sill and Riverside Indian Schools and Oklahoma School for the Deaf, Waurika is 11-2 in meetings against private schools….Only three times in 11 years of eight-man football has Waurika managed to win its first two games and it has happened only 19 times in school history…Smart’s 137 yards rushing marks his second straight game as an Eagle with 100+ yards.

 Game in Figures

                                    WHS           DC

First Downs               8                6

Yards Rushing         16-264     15-60

Yards Passing          95              113

Passes                       3-6            8-16

Fumbles, Lost          0-0            1-1

Punts                          1-29          0-0

Penalties                   5-44          2-15

                          SCORE BY QUARTERS

Waurika                   32             24              x                x—56

Destiny Christian     0                8               x                x—8

                           SCORING SUMMARY

WAURIKA – Isaac Camarillo 35 pass from Treyton Torrez (Trent Arellano run), 10:46, 1st Quarter

WAURIKA – Jake Smart 22 run (Smart run), 6:52, 1st Quarter

WAURIKA – Torrez 67 run (Smart run), 3:14, 1st Quarter

DESTINY CHR. – Dennis Dibie 32 pass from Jason Ramsey (run failed), :12, 1st Quarter

WAURIKA – Gavin Torrez 48 pass from T. Torrez (T. Torrez run), :00, 1st Quarter

WAURIKA – T. Torrez 50 run (Smart run), 8:27, 2nd Quarter

WAURIKA – Camarillo 68 fumble return (Arellano run), 5:48, 2nd Quarter

WAURIKA – Smart 55 run (Gunner Myers run), 5:0, 2nd Quarter

                  INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

WAURIKA: Rushing – Jake Smart 5-137, Treyton Torrez 4-108, Trent Arellano 3-24, Gunner Myers 1-0, Johnathan Winegeart 3-(-5); Passing – T. Torrez 3-6-95-0; Receiving – Isaac Camarillo 1-35, Gavin Torrez 1-48, Smart 1-12.

DESTINY CHRISTIAN: Rushing – Jason Ramsey 9-48, Zachay Maturey 4-6, Dennis Dibie 1-4, Jayden Anglin 1-2; Passing – Ramsey 8-16-13-3; Receiving – Diebie 3-44, Maturey 3-28, Caleb Weston 3-44.

Coaching Changes Approved For Waurika Softball, Girls Basketball

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A couple of changes in coaching responsibilities were recently approved by the Waurika Board of Education.

Kassie Bohot, who has been a teacher at Waurika Elementary and the head coach of the powerlifting program will add fast-pitch softball to her responsibilities at the school.

Garret Bachand, the boys’ basketball coach for the past three seasons, will take on the girls’ basketball program as well for the coming year.

Bohot replaces long-time athletic director and fast-pitch softball coach Everett Hodges.

Hodges compiled a 27-52 record over the past three seasons of fast-pitch softball for the Lady Eagles. This came after a two-year period where the team only won a total of four games.

Bohot is excited about the added coaching responsibility and is looking forward to her first season after serving as the top assistant the past few seasons.

“This group of seniors if the first group I coached at Waurika,” said Bohot. “I know the girls and their abilities.”

Bohot noted the improvement of the girls she has helped with over the past few seasons.

“I am excited to see this come full circle,” Bohot added. “I can’t wait to have a good year.”

Bachand is also excited about the opportunity to take on the reins of the girls basketball program at Waurika.

He has been the Eagle roundball coach for the past three seasons and has a 33-36 record.

Bachand’s first two seasons produced a winning record, but this past season the squad struggled because of injuries.

However, the 2022 version of the Eagles made the first regional tournament appearance under Bachand, who is a graduate of Waurika High School.

Bachand will also be no stranger to the girls as he was the top assistant under Kalee Baxter during the 2022 campaign when the Lady Eagles fashioned a 20-7 record.

“I’m really excited to become the next head coach for these girls,” Bachand said. “I have talked to them and they are stoked and ready to work.”

The Lady Eagles have had strong seasons the past few years, but faltered in the post-season.

 “Obviously these girls have done some really good things in the regular season,” Bachand noted.

“Most of those girls that are returning have some unfinished business from the last two years in the postseason,” Bachard added.

It will be a big goal for the veteran boys’ coach to push the girls to new heights particularly in the postseason.

“I can’t wait to get to work and see what we can do this next season,” Bachard said.

 In addition to his basketball responsibilities, Bachand serves as an assistant to Joe Allen in both football and baseball.

Mora, Cathey Follow Family Heritage In Athletics at Waurika

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Some people are more talented athletically than others. Some athletes work hard to earn whatever accolades and honors come their way.

For two Waurika graduating seniors, it would seem they have both.

Slade Cathey and Tallin Mora have been outstanding athletes at Waurika High School the past four years. And, it just so happens they come from a rich heritage in high school athletics by family members.

Tallin Mora

However, it is not like Mora and Cathey have not put in the hard work to earn their own achievements at Waurika High School.

The two cousins will finalize their high school experiences Friday night when they participate in high school graduation exercises at Cy Sloan Stadium.

Their grandparents – the late Doug Cathey and Sue Kellner – were both standout athletes at Ryan High School.

As a matter of fact, both grandparents earned all-state honors. Cathey earned all-state as a quarterback at Ryan and at one time he was the backup quarterback for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. An injury sidelined that dream, but he moved to defensive line where he earned All-Big Eight honors and he went on to serve as an assistant coach on the Oklahoma State football staff.

Slade Cathey

“We regarded him as a very promising sophomore at quarterback,” said Phil Cutchin, the OSU football coach at the time. That was a quote from 1964 when Cathey suffered a knee injury.

Kellner (formerly Hoffman in high school) was an all-stater on Ryan’s 1965 state championship basketball team. She was on the all-tourney team for the 1965 state tournament and co-captain of the Cowgirl team.

Not many high school athletes across the state can brag that two of their grandparents were all-staters.

And, it doesn’t stop there. Parents and siblings have also reeled in their share of honors and accomplishments in athletics at Ryan and Waurika.

Slade’s father, the late Scott Cathey, was a standout on playoff football teams at Ryan and was the defensive lineman of the year in the district in the 1986 season.

The football fieldhouse at Waurika is named in Scott’s honor.

Jennifer, Slade’s mom, was not an athlete in high school, but she certainly has been be a staunch supporter of her sons through the years.

Sage and Seth, Slade’s older brothers, were recent excellent performers for the Eagle football team and track squad. Seth is on the football squad at Evangel University.

And, there is still one sibling, Roxie, that may or may not choose the path of athletics for high school.

Tallin’s parents were also outstanding athletes. Guy Mora, Tallin’s father, was a state qualifier in the 880 yard run in high school and also played football.

Tallin’s mom, Shelly (Cathey) Mora, was a standout at Ryan High School in basketball. In 1988, Shelly was named Miss Bench Player by The Duncan Banner. She also holds two school records at Ryan – most points scored in a game (50 against Big Pasture) and most field goals made in a game (16).

Tatum, Turner and Tucker Mora – Tallin’s siblings – were multi-sport athletes at Waurika and earned plenty of accolades during their careers for the Eagles and Lady Eagles.

Tatum was a member of the school record 1,600 and 3,200 meter relay teams for the Lady Eagles.

Turner was a member of the 800 and 1,600 meter relay teams that hold the school record for the Eagles.

TAKING THE BATON – Waurika’s Tallin Mora takes the baton in a recent track meet. Mora credits track with teaching her how to work through pain in competition. (Photo by Trey Smart).

Tucker holds the school record in the high jump – and it is one of the best jumps in Class A in the state. He was also a member of the 1,600 meter relay team that holds the school record.

You would think that with a heritage like that, Slade and Tallin would feel the pressure to continue the heritage. But both athletes deflect that thinking.

“I never felt pressure to perform well because of my family,” Slade said in a recent interview. “Instead I felt a drive and burning desire to make myself be someone that my future kids and grandkids will look up to the way I look up to my dad and his dad before him.”

“As far as my siblings, it was more to show everyone that I am not just Seth’s or Sage’s little brother,” Slade added. “I am my own person and that is another thing that has pushed me so hard to be the best athlete I could be.”

“I have felt a little pressure because of my heritage, but I brought it on myself,” Tallin said in a recent conversation.

“My siblings and parents have always been super supportive and they always have been proud of me no matter my performance,” Tallin noted.

“I always felt pressure because I wanted to make them proud, but at the end of the day, they were proud no matter the outcome,” Tallin said.

The journey for the two cousins has been one of determination, drive and dedication, but it has come with the absolute support from their families.

“My family has had the best impact on my life,” said Tallin. “A lot of families seem so loving on the outside and then you get to know them and they are not as close as they looked.”

“That is not the case with my family. We are truly a team that strives to make each other better, help each other and celebrate each other,” Tallin remarked when asked about the impact of her family.

“”My family has shown me that regardless of what happens, if you stand tall and take whatever life throws at you, it will get better,” Slade said about the impact of his family on his life.

Slade has had his share of adversity as he lost his father a couple of years ago. In addition to his efforts and dedication to Eagle athletics, he has had to assume responsibility for his dad’s cattle ranch.

“This is a lot of responsibility for any kid to handle,” Slade commented. “This is especially true without having my dad to ask questions and to have by my side to support me.”

LISTENING EAGLE – Slade Cathey (40) listens intently to Waurika head football coach Joe Allen during a break in the action of a football game last fall. Other than his own family, Cathey points to Coach Allen as his greatest influence in his life. (Photo by Trey Smart)

The two multi-sport athletes pointed to other influences in their lives that have helped provide guidance and support.

“God has really made a big impact on my life,” said Tallin. “In life, you will never truly be successful unless you have a relationship with God.”

“God has helped me through sports by guiding me on how to be a proper leader to my teammates and how to keep my composure in nearly all situations,” Tallin added.

Slade pointed to his high school football coach, Joe Allen, as the person outside his family that has had influence on him.

“Coach Allen pushes everyone to be the best he can in every aspect of life.” Slade said. “He isn’t only a role model on the field, but in life all around.”

“After my father passed he was one of two people that came and sat with me and talked to me,” Slade reflected. “From that moment on, I knew that I would do anything I could for him.”

Slade particularly lived that out during his senior year of football. With the Eagles facing a rash of injuries, including Slade, he made the decision to play through his injuries that included a dislocated ankle, a torn ACL, a broken finger and pneumonia.

Slade was even tabbed to play quarterback late in the season when both Waurika’s quarterbacks had suffered injuries.

Opposing coaches and fans took notice of Slade’s sacrifices and commented to him after one of the games.

“It was crazy to me that I never second guessed playing that night and I guess that makes sense with my dad and grandad’s blood running through me,” Slade said. “It made me happy when I realized I was living up to the Cathey name.”

That series of events during Slade’s senior season stands out has his greatest sports memory in high school, but Tallin’s best memory is a little more celebrative.

“My greatest memory would have to be being regional champions in track this year,” Tallin recalled. “Throughout the season, I could see my teammates coming together, so our team could eventually win regionals.”

“My teammates and I gave our every effort on the day of regionals and it felt amazing to have it play off when we won the team title,” Tallin added.

While Tallin credits track with helping her learn to work through pain, she notes that basketball is her favorite sport.

“It would be basketball,” said Tallin when asked about her favorite sport. “I think it is because of the team aspect. The feeling of a play working perfectly is unmatched, especially a defensive play.”

For Slade, it is definitely football that tops his list of sports he has participated in through the years.

“I grew up watching my brothers play and hearing stories of my grandfather playing for OSU and I knew it was something I would do for as long as I could,” noted Slade.

“I never had an adrenaline rush like the rush you get when you make a big play and look to see the whole crowd cheering,” Slade added.

While sports have been a great focus for the two cousins the last few years, they do have other interests.

Slade pointed to his work on the ranch as well as roping as some of his hobbies. Tallin listed going to church, hanging out with friends and focusing on academics as the things that occupy her time when she is not on the track or court.

And the pair of relatives are ready to put sports behind them as far as competition goes.

Slade plans to attend Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant and obtain a degree as a professional pilot. He hopes to someday fly for a major airline.

Tallin’s plans are to attend the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond and pursue a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology.

Both have lofty plans for the future and no doubt the accomplishments in sports, hard work and support of family have shaped them and will continue to do so moving forward into young adulthood.

They are certainly great role models who stand alone from the rest of their heritage and are worthy for future Waurika athletes to emulate when it comes to dedication and discipline.

Waurika’s Aaron Torrez Wins State in Power Lifting

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Aaron Torrez recently achieved something that no junior high student in recent history has done.

Torrez won the State Championship in power lifting. 

He competed in squats, bench and deadlifting this past week in El Reno. 

Torrez is just in the seventh grade and this is his second year to compete on the weight lifting team. 

Last year he competed at the state level and finished in 5th place. 

He now would like to win the state title every year until he graduates. 

Torrez has been a Waurika Eagle since Kindergarten.

In his spare time he loves to fish. 

Waurika Begins Diamond Season On the Road at Wilson

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Waurika High School begins the 2022 baseball season today by traveling to Wilson to take on the Oil Field Conference foe.

The next action for the Eagles will be one week from today (March 10) when they will travel to Ringling to battle the Blue Devils.

The home opener for Waurika will be March 22 when they entertain Geronimo at the Waurika High School diamond.

Coach Joe Allen’s Eagles will be looking to bounce back from an 8-11 season last year.

The Eagles were 2-2 in 2020 before the season was halted by the pandemic.

This will be Allen’s fourth season at the helm of the Eagle nine and he along with the baseballers will be looking for a season like 2019 when Waurika posted its first winning season in baseball since 2012 with a 16-7 record.

But the Eagles will have some challenges along the way as the 2022 season gets under way.

Two starters must be replaced and the Eagles will probably be without another starter, Treyton Torrez, who is scheduled to undergo further surgery from a football injury suffered last fall.

Another challenge for the Eagles will be the lack of practice time after the completion of the basketball season.

The recent winter weather potentially knocked out practice time and so the workouts this week will be key in the preparation for the Eagles’ season opener.

There are some question marks concerning who will man the mound for the Eagles.

A newcomer to Coach Allen’s squad maybe the answer for the pitching. Aiden Torrez will be counted on to be the top thrower for the Eagles, but he will also have some teammates that can throw strikes and they will take their turns on the mound.

But, the Eagles do return some experience in the field and at the plate.

Carson Williams, Isaac Camarillo, Slade Cathey, Angel Garcia, Malachi Dodson and Houston Scott were some of the main contributors at the plate for the Eagles a year ago and will have to provide the offense in the upcoming season if the Eagles are to be successful.

While those baseballers will be the heart of the offense, they will also be counted on in the field. Experience should be of benefit when it comes to fielding the ball – particularly in the infield.

“We have lots of experience on this squad,” said Allen. “They picked up a lot of experience because they had to step up last year and play a lot as freshmen and sophomores.”

The schedule is challenging as Waurika competes in both the Southern Eight and Oil Field Conferences. The Southern Eight Conference includes a couple of schools that play baseball in the fall and spring and the Oil Field schools usually have plenty of talent and depth on the diamond.

Look for the experience of the Eagles to pay off in the form of a few more wins on the diamond this spring, but Waurika will have to pick things up when it comes to consistency to put together a winning mark in 2022.

Waurika Schedule

MARCH

3: at Wilson; 10: at Ringling; 22: Geronimo; 24-26: at Central High Tournament; 28: Marlow JV; 29: at Empire; 31: Comanche;

APRIL

4: Central High; 7-9: Velma-Alma Tournament; 11: at Springer; 12: at Rush Springs; 14: Velma-Alma; 15: Walters; 21-23: Class A District Tournament.

Ryan, Waurika Roundballers Participate in Southern 8 All-Star Game

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GERONIMO – The annual Southern Eight Conference all-star games were held here Tuesday night at the Geronimo Dome.

 Six of the seven conference schools were represented in the game. Frederick is still participating in the post season so players from other conference schools were selected to play in the place of the Bomber and Lady Bomber all-stars.

In the girls’ game, the West pulled in front in the second quarter and held on the rest of the way for a 53-39 victory over the East.

SOUTHERN EIGHT STARS: Waurika was well-represented at Tuesday’s Southern Eight Conference girls’ all-star game held at Geronimo. Pictured, from left to right, are Liberti Simmons, Tallin Mora, Gracie Walling and Cassidie Berry. The Lady Eagles were coached by Kalee Baxter this season. (Photo by Trey Smart)

Players from Waurika, Temple, Big Pasture and Grandfield made up the West team that was coached by Anna High of Temple.

The East team had players from Ryan, Big Pasture, Geronimo and Grandfield. The East team was coached by Ryan basketball assistant Shelley Villerreal.

The boys’ game was an entertaining one as players tried to display some sharp-shooting and various dunk attempts. The West prevailed in the game, 85-81.

The West had players from Grandfield, Ryan, Temple and Big Pasture and were coached by Ryan’s head basketball coach Lane Weldon. The East team, coached by Geronimo coach Pardner Pascoe, had players from Big Pasture, Geronimo, Waurika and Ryan.

Prior to each game a three-point shootout was held and Tallin Mora of Waurika was the top shooter among the representatives from the various schools.

Waurika swept the three-point contest as Treyton Torrez was the top marksman for the boys.

The conference also honored one boy and one girl athlete with a scholarship award. The winner of the scholarship for the girls was Waurika’s Mora. Each athlete that applied for the scholarship had to write an essay.

TOP COWGIRLS: Alicen Williams, left, and Jasmine Villerreal, right, are pictured following Tuesday’s Southern Eight girls’ all-star contest hosted by Geronimo High School. The Cowgirls were coached by Lane Weldon. (Photo by Trey Smart)

Mora opened the scoring in the girl’s contest with a three-pointer giving the West a 3-0 lead, but Ryan’s Alicen Williams tied the game with a trey of her own.

Mora put the West back on top with another long three-pointer that gave the West a 6-3 lead.

Before the end of the quarter, Ryan’s Jasmine Villerreal knocked down a three pointer, but the West answered with another trey and the quarter ended with the West in front, 12-11.

In the second quarter, the West went on a 16-5 scoring run behind four points by Mora, a trio of points by Waurika’s Cassidie Berry and a rebound and putback by Waurika’s Gracie Walling.

The West led at the half, 28-16, and held a comfortable lead throughout the rest of the game.

Mora finished with 15 points for the West team. She also had a rebound and steal.

Berry ended the game with an impressive 11 rebounds, two blocks and five points.

Liberti Simmons snared five rebounds and had three points.

Walling also got into double figures in the rebound column with 10 rebounds. She also had one steal and two points.

EAGLE REPRESENTATIVES: This trio of Waurika Eagle roundballers participated in Tuesday’s Southern Eight Conference all-star game at the Geronimo Dome on the campus of Geronimo High School after the boys’ contest. Pictured, left to right, are Slade Cathey, Treyton Torrez and Isaac Camarillo. This trio were the top three top scorers for the Eagles were coached by Garret Bachand. (Photo by Trey Smart)

Williams finished with six points, three steals and four rebounds for the East team and Villerreal scored in double figures with 11 points, two rebounds and an assist.

In the boys contest, the game became lively late in the first quarter as players from both teams decided to put on a three-point shooting display.

Ryan’s Racen Williams connected on three straight three-pointers in a span of 39 seconds – the last one coming from mid-court.

The game was tight after the first quarter as the West held a narrow 21-19 lead.

Like the girls’ game, the West boys extended a lead with a 28-15 scoring advantage that put the West in front, 49-34, at the break.

The antics of the boys continued in the second quarter. R. Williams had a dunk that was aided by the back of Ryan’s Landen Alexander. R. Williams launched himself off Alexander’s back for the stuff.

The final points of the half were scored by Alexander who had a dunk with 20 seconds left in the half.

The third quarter was dead even as both teams scored 21 points in the quarter. Ryan’s Westin Jennings had a near dunk at the 4:13 mark that put the West in front, 62-44, but Waurika’s Treyton Torrez had a layup to answer moments later.

The quarter closed with another trey by R. Williams with 51.5 seconds left that put the West in front, 70-55.

COWBOY ALL-STARS: Four Ryan basketball players participated in the annual Southern Eight Conference all-star game at Geronimo Tuesday night. Pictured, left to right, are Julian Rodriguez, Racen Williams, Landen Alexander and Westin Jennings. Alexander and Jennings made their final appearance on the hardwood as both are scheduled to graduate in May. The Cowboys were coached by Lane Weldon. (Photo by Trey Smart).

The final frame was filled with more long-distance shots and dunk attempts by players from both teams.

The East actually rallied behind Ryan’s Julian Rodriguez and Waurika’s Slade Cathey that cut the margin to 75-64 with a 5-0 surge.

At the 2:01 mark, the East drew within five at 78-73, but that would be closest they would get until Aiden McCullough of Big Pasture nailed a three-pointer with 18 seconds left that set the final score.

R. Williams led the West in scoring with 17 points and he also contributed four rebounds.

Jennings finished with eight points, five rebounds and a steal.

Alexander contributed seven rebounds and four points.

Rodriguez finished with eight points, three rebounds and a steal playing for the East.

Torrez had seven points and a steal in the contest, while Cathey finished with six points and eight rebounds.

Waurika’s Isaac Camarillo finished with a pair of rebounds on the night.

Waurika’s Lady Eagles were presented with the conference championship plaque and Frederick boys were honored as the conference champion.

Lady Eagles Fall to Calumet in Regional Consolation Championship

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…Outstanding Season Ends As Bid To Advance to Area Tourney Comes Up Short

GERONIMO – The Waurika Lady Eagles ran into a matchup problem in the Class A Regional Tournament consolation finals here last Saturday afternoon.

For one of the rare times this season, the opponent – this time Calumet – provided a presence inside that thwarted Waurika’s efforts to work the ball inside the paint.

And, the Lady Chieftains built an early lead on some hot shooting from the field and Waurika never led in the game before falling, 50-36, at the Geronimo Dome.

The Lady Eagles finished the 2022 campaign with a 20-7 record.

The Lady Eagles fell into the consolation bracket on Thursday with a 39-27 loss to Cyril, but advanced into the consolation bracket finals with a 44-40 victory over Binger-Oney on Friday.

Calumet opened Saturday’s game with a 7-0 run and Waurika never pulled closer than three points the rest of the game.

The Lady Chieftains took a 10-3 lead on two treys and two two-point buckets at the 2:41 mark of the first quarter.

But, the Lady Eagles fought back and scored the final four points of the quarter as Simmons hit a pair of buckets – the last one with 25 seconds left in the first quarter to narrow the Calumet lead to, 10-7.

The Lady Chieftains opened the second quarter on a 9-3 run to increase the lead to 19-10.

Cassidie Berry hit a pair of free throws with 4:03 left in the second quarter to narrow the gap to 19-12, but Calumet answered with a three-pointer from the top of the key by Allie Harris that increased the lead to 22-12 with 3:50 left in the half.

Harris hit another three with 3:05 left in the second frame that gave the Lady Chieftains a 25-12 advantage.

Gracie Walling connected on a short jumper with 2:26 left in the second quarter to narrow the gap to 25-14, but neither team scored the rest of the half.

A 5-0 run to open the third quarter increased the lead to 29-14 with 3:23 left in the third quarter.

Aubree Showalter connected on a three-pointer with 2:49 to play to cut the margin to 29-17.

When Liberti Simmons hit a layup at the buzzer to end the third quarter the Lady Eagles trailed, 32-21.

Calumet increased the lead to 34-21 with a layup, but the Lady Eagles answered with Walling’s three-pointer from the corner that cut the margin to 34-24 with 6:50 left in the game.

The Lady Eagles would get no closer.

Calumet went on a 11-1 run that was capped by a pair of layups by Karysa Meade to put the Lady Chieftains in front, 45-25, with 3:07 left that put the game out of reach.

Waurika finished the contest with an 11-5 scoring run, but it was simply not enough on this afternoon.

Simmons led the Lady Eagles in scoring with 14 points, but no other Lady Eagle was able to get to double figures.

The Lady Eagles advanced to the consolation finals with a tense victory over the Lady Bobcats here Friday.

In the opening moments of the game it looked like Waurika’s season was in jeopardy as Binger-Oney opened the game with two three-pointers – the second one coming at the 4:32 mark of the first quarter that gave the Lady Bobcats a 6-0 lead.

Jasmine Henry’s layup with 3:20 left in the first quarter gave Waurika its first points, but after the Lady Bobcats hit another trey, Waurika trailed, 9-2, with 2:32 showing in the initial frame.

The Lady Eagles finished the quarter on a 6-0 run – all on buckets by Simmons.

Simmons had a short runner, an offensive rebound and put back and a short jumper – the last coming with 4.1 seconds left to pull Waurika to within one point, 9-8, at the end of the first quarter.

Waurika opened the second quarter much like they had finished the first period as the Lady Eagles went on an 8-0 run that was started by a layup by Berry giving Waurika its first lead, 10-9, with 7:33 left in the half.

The run was capped by Tallin Mora’s short jumper that gave Waurika a 16-9 lead with 3:07 to play in the second quarter.

The Lady Bobcats went on a modest 6-2 scoring run to close out the half and Waurika’s lead was 18-15 at the break.

In the early part of the third quarter the game was extremely tight as Waurika never led by more than four points.

At the 4:31 mark, the Lady Bobcats got a layup that tied the game at 25-25.

That would be the final time Binger-Oney would score in the third quarter.

Waurika finished the quarter on a 10-0 blitz. Henry connected on a layup with 4:18 to play and that was followed by Berry’s layup at the 3:35 mark.

With 1:07 left in the quarter, Berry got another layup and the scoring blitz was capped on a layup and an eight-foot running jumper by Simmons that put Waurika in front, 35-25, heading into the fourth quarter.

The Lady Bobcats opened the fourth quarter with a trey that cut the lead to 35-28 and Binger-Oney continued to draw closer to the Lady Eagles.

With 1:29 left in the game, Binger-Oney capped a 5-0 run with a layup that tied the game at 38-38.

The Lady Eagles answered with a bucket by Berry on a nifty assist from Mora that put Waurika on top, 40-38 with 1:08 left in the game.

Waurika got a steal, but turned the ball back over to Binger-Oney with 55 seconds to play.

The Lady Bobcats got a free throw with 48.5 seconds left to draw within one, 40-39.

Berry connected on another in-the-paint layup with 36.3 seconds left that increased the Lady Eagle lead to 42-39.

Binger-Oney converted on one of two charity tosses with 15.9 seconds to play to crawl to within two at 42-40.

Waurika grabbed the rebound on the second free throw and then the Lady Bobcats were forced to foul four times to get Waurika to the free throw line.

The final foul came with 7.7 seconds left and Simmons calmly sank two free throws that set the final margin.

Simmons led the Lady Eagles in scoring with 17 points, while Berry contributed 13 tallies.

In the regional semifinals in the Geronimo Dome on Thursday night, Waurika applied tons of defensive pressure to stay with the talented Lady Pirates through three quarters.

The defensive pressure by the Lady Pirates equaled that of the Lady Eagles to the point that Waurika managed only a single point in the final quarter of what had been a close game throughout.

Waurika was able to gain an 8-5 edge in the first quarter and increased the lead to 17-13 at the intermission.

Cyril, the 10th-ranked squad in Class A, began to take over in the second half.

In the third quarter the Lady Pirates outscored the Lady Eagles, 14-9, to move in front, 27-26, heading into the final period.

It was a 12-1 scoring advantage in the final frame that catapulted the Lady Pirates into last Saturday’s championship tilt.

Mora led the Lady Eagles in scoring with eight points.

Cyril went on to claim the regional title last Saturday night with a 45-41 victory over Oklahoma Christian Academy.

LADY EAGLES REGIONAL AND SEASON-ENDING NOTES: This was the 16th time a Waurika girls basketball team played in a regional tourney championship game….Eight of those have been in the consolation bracket….Waurika is now 5-11 in all regional tourney championship games – both winner and loser bracket finals….This was the 28th appearance for a Waurika girls team in a regional tournament with the first appearance coming in 1964….Waurika is now 24-35 in all regional tourney games after going 1-2 in this year’s regional tourney….In regional tournament play, Waurika is 0-2 against Cyril, 1-1 against Binger-Oney and 0-1 against Calumet….The 27 points scored against Cyril on Thursday is the second fewest points scored by Waurika in a regional tourney game….The Lady Eagles also had 27 points in a loss to Velma-Alma in a 1997 regional game….The fewest points scored by the Lady Eagles in a regional tourney game is 23 against Frederick in 1964 – the first appearance for Waurika in a regional tourney….The 20 wins for the Lady Eagles is the most since the 2017 season….Waurika has had only four seasons with 20 or more wins….Waurika girls’ coach Kalee Baxter is now 74-35 in five seasons at the helm of the Lady Eagles….This was the fourth straight winning season posted by the Lady Eagles and the eighth in the past nine seasons.

Calumet 50, Waurika 36

(Girls Consolation Finals)

Calumet   10              15              7                18—50

Waurika   7                7                7                15—36

CALUMET – Allie Harris 6-3-15, Brie Myers 5-1-15, Lily Thomas 4-2-10, Karysa Meade 3-0-6, Mattie Pritchett 1-1-4. TOTALS: 19-7-50. PF: 9. Three-pointers: Myers 4, Pritchett.

WAURIKA – Liberti Simmons 6-0-14, Gracie Walling 3-0-8, Aubree Showalter 2-1-6, Tallin Mora 1-2-4, Jaden Adams 1-0-2, Cassidie Berry 0-2-2. TOTALS: 13-5-36. PF: 15. Three-pointers: Walling 2, Simmons 2, Showalter.

Waurika 44, Binger-Oney 40

(Girls Consolation Semifinals)

Waurika                  8             10              17              9—44

Binger-Oney           8              5              10             15—40

WAURIKA – Liberity Simmons 7-2-17, Cassadie Berry 6-1-13, Jasmine Henry 2-1-5, Gracie Walling 1-1-3, Aubree Showalter 0-2-2, Tallin Mora 1-0-2, Jaden Adams 1-0-2. TOTALS: 18-7-44. PF: 8. Three-pointers: Simmons.

BINGER-ONEY – Jaydn Goucher 7-1-15, Taygan Graham 3-1-10, Jordan Anthony-Baade 2-0-6, Taylor Westervelt 3-0-7, Baylie Allen 1-0-2. TOTALS: 16-2-40. PF: 11. Three-pointers: Graham 3, Baade 2, Westervelt.               

Cyril 39, Waurika 27

(Girls Semifinals)

Waurika   8                9                9                1—27

Cyril          5                8                14              12—39

WAURIKA – Tallin Mora 3-0-8, Liberti Simmons 3-1-7, Aubree Showalter 2-0-6, Cassidie Berry 2-0-4, Gracie Walling 1-0-2. TOTALS: 11-2-27. PF: 16. Three-pointers: Mora 2, Showalter 2.

CYRIL – Lexie McLemore 4-7-17, Sky Ann Snider 3-1-9, Skalie Thompson 2-2-6, Hadley Gibson 2-0-4, Morton 1-1-3. TOTALS: 12-11-39. PF: 11. Three-pointers: Snider 2, McLemore 2.

Cowboys Falter In Regional Tourney To End Roundball Season

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….Sickness Hits Squad at Critical Time in the Season

The Ryan Cowboys boys’ basketball season came to an end last weekend as they dropped two straight in the Class B Regional Tournament.

 In last Thursday’s winners’ bracket contest, Big Pasture rolled to a 56-26 victory at Fox.

 Last Friday in the consolation bracket semifinals, Ryan fell to Alex, 60-29, on the Longhorns’ home floor.

The Cowboys battled illness that hit the squad in the early part of the week leading up to the regional tourney  and continued through the tourney.

Ryan’s boys finish with a 14-9 mark for the 2022 season.

The signal that the end of the season was imminent came early in Friday’s game with Alex.

The Longhorns opened the game on a 13-0 scoring blitz and finished the first quarter with an 18-2 advantage thanks to three treys.

Early in the second quarter the lead increased to 21-2 before the Cowboys could stop the Longhorn scoring barrage.

The energy-depleted Cowboys simply had no answer for the Longhorns the rest of the way.

The Cowboys rallied a bit in the second quarter, but still trailed, 33-11, at the break.

The two teams battled on near-even terms in the third quarter as Alex outscored the Cowboys only by a 14-12 margin but the lead of 47-23 was insurmountable.

The Longhorns closed out the fourth quarter with a 13-6 scoring advantage to set the final score.

Julian Rodriguez was the top scorer for the Cowboys with 12 points, but no other Cowboy was in double figures.

Landen Alexander led the squad in rebounding with eight.

The Cowboys committed 25 turnovers in the contest and shot only 28% from the field including only two of 21 from beyond the arc.

In Thursday’s contest with Big Pasture the Cowboys fell behind 6-0 on consecutive three-pointers by the Rangers in the first 90 seconds of the game, but Ryan rallied a bit through the rest of the quarter.

The two teams actually played on even terms the rest of the quarter.

Westin Jennings got Ryan on the scoreboard with a reverse layup that cut the Ranger lead to 6-2, but another trey gave Big Pasture a 9-2 advantage.

After a pair of free throws by Jennings, the Rangers got two layups and with 3:40 left in the first quarter the Rangers had extended the lead to 13-4.

The Cowboys finished off the quarter with a modest 6-3 scoring advantage and after Xavier Guzman’s short jumper at the 2:08 mark, Ryan trailed, 16-10.

That is the way the first quarter ended.

The game was essentially put out of reach early in the second quarter as the Rangers went on a 12-1 run that put the Big Pasture lead at 28-11.

Guzman’s layup with 28 seconds to play in the half brought the Big Pasture lead down to 15, 32-17, and that is the way the half ended.

The Rangers continued to dominate throughout the third quarter as they outscored the Cowboys, 12-5, to obtain a 44-22 advantage at the end of the period.

Big Pasture continued to increase the lead early in the fourth quarter and the Cowboys simply did not have much left to give as the Rangers outscored Ryan, 12-4, to get the victory and move into the regional finals.

The Cowboys battled the Rangers on the board as both teams had 36 rebounds, but Ryan committed 29 turnovers to only 14 for the 11th-ranked Rangers.

Guzman led the Cowboys in scoring with 12 points and he was also the top rebounder for Ryan with nine rebounds.

It was a dismal shooting night for the Cowboys, however, as they connected on only 26% of their field goal attempts and were only four of 11 from the charity stripe.

REGIONAL TOURNEY RAMBLINGS: The Cowboys have not fared well in regional tournament play over the past few years as Ryan has now lost 15 straight games in regional tourney play….The last win in a regional tourney came in 2006 when they topped Big Pasture….The Cowboys are 31-44 in 41 appearances in the regional tourney with the first appearance coming in 1942….Ryan is now 1-1 against Big Pasture in regional tourney meetings and is 0-1 against Alex in regional tourney play….The 14 wins by the Cowboys in the 2022 season are the most since the 2017 campaign…The nine losses is tied for the fewest losses in a season since 2005 when the Cowboys lost only seven games….Lane Weldon made a return to Ryan this season to coach both the Cowboys and Cowgirls and as coach of the Cowboys Weldon has had only one losing season in 11 years….Under Weldon, the Cowboys have a 178-105 record in all games….Alexander and Jennings made their last appearance in a Cowboy basketball uniform in last Friday’s game.

Alex 60, Ryan 29

(Boys Consolation Semifinals)

Ryan         2              9               12              6—29

Alex          18           15              14            13—60

RYAN – Julian Rodriguez 4-2-12, Landen Alexander 4-0-8, Westin Jennings 2-2-6, Carsen Rodriguez 1-1-3. TOTALS: 11-5-29. PF: 11. Three-pointers: J. Rodriguez 2

ALEX – Chase Byrne 7-3-17, Ricky Thornburg 5-0-11, Conner Garrett 3-1-8, Konner Shebester 2-2-7, Kyler Boatright 2-0-6, Mason Spencer 2-0-4, Tallon Hurd 1-0-3, Nick Power 1-0-2, Jacob Compton 1-0-2. TOTALS: 24-6-60. PF: 8. Three-pointers: Boatright 2, Thornburg, Garrett, Shebester, Hurd.

Big Pasture 56, Ryan 26

(Boys Semifinals)

Ryan         10           7                5                4—26

BP             16          16              12             12—56

RYAN – Xavier Guzman 6-0-12, Mason Adsit 3-0-6, Westin Jennings 1-2-4, Julian Rodriguez 1-1-3, Landen Alexander 0-1-1. TOTALS: 11-4-2. PF: 11. Three-pointers: None.

BIG PASTURE – Lane Tinsley 6-0-12, Grayson Skocelas 4-0-0, Carson Coats 7-1-15, Aiden McCullough 3-0-9, Lance Martin 2-0-4, Hayden Tinsley 1-0-2, Dayne Rivers 1-0-2, Noah White 1-0-2. TOTALS: 25-1-56. PF: 14. Three-pointers: McCullough 3, Skocelas 2.

Season Ends For Eagles Basketball Squad In Regional Tourney  

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GERONIMO – What was a tough season for the Waurika boys hoopsters ended here last Thursday night in the Class A Regional Tournament.

 The Eagles fell in the consolation quarterfinals to Empire, 52-49.

In two previous meetings with the Bulldogs, the Eagles were dominated, but not on this afternoon contest in the Geronimo Dome.

 The Eagles led or were tied with the Bulldogs until the final 20 seconds in the heart-breaking loss in Thursday’s game.

 The Eagles got off to a good start with offensive rebounds and put backs by Treyton Torrez and Slade Cathey to give Waurika 4-0 lead with 6:27 left in the first quarter.

The rest of the period was a battle, but after Torrez hit a 10-footer at the 1:19 mark, Waurika held a 13-6 advantage.

 Empire, however, scored the final five points of the quarter and trimmed the Waurika lead to 13-11.

 At the beginning of the second quarter the Eagles took charge as they went on a 11-0 run that was capped by Isaac Camarillo’s layup at the 4:54 mark of the period. This gave Waurika a 24-11 lead – their biggest lead of the game.

Waurika went cold for the rest of the half and Empire chipped away at the lead as the Bulldogs outscored the Eagles, 9-2, the rest of the second quarter and trailed only 26-20 at the break.

The Eagles built another big lead in the opening minutes of the third quarter with a 12-5 scoring run that gave Waurika a 38-25 lead with 4:24 remaining in the quarter.

The Bulldogs once again battled back and when Mcray Weber hit a three-pointer with 37.7 seconds left in the quarter, Empire had trimmed the Eagle advantage to 41-34.

A pair of free throws by the Bulldogs pulled Empire to within five to open the fourth quarter, but Malachi Dodson answered for the Eagles with a three-pointer and with 6:35 left in the game, Waurika led, 44-36.

As they had throughout the game, the Bulldogs put on a scoring burst and this time the Eagles could not keep pace.

From the 6:35 mark to the final 30 seconds, the Eagles managed only three points. Meanwhile the Bulldogs began to hit from the outside and converted five free throws until, at the 1:03 mark, Empire tied the game at 47-47.

The final minute was a flurry of activity. Waurika missed a trey and Empire grabbed the rebound and after the Bulldogs missed a field goal attempt, Torrez was fouled on the rebound and he connected on two free throws with 30.2 seconds left to give the Eagles a 49-47 lead.

After a Waurika timeout, Empire quickly moved down the court and after a couple of passes found Weber open at the top of the key where he nailed a three-point to put Empire in front, 50-49, with 20 seconds showing on the clock.

 The Bulldogs called timeout, but Waurika had an opportunity for a final shot. A missed three-pointer went awry with five seconds to go and as Empire grabbed the rebound a foul was whistled on Waurika as well as a technical foul.

This gave Empire four free throw attempts with 2.4 seconds left and the Bulldogs hit two of four to provide the final margin.

The main reason the Eagles were able to stay in the game was their domination on the boards. The Eagles outrebounded Empire, 36-20, for the game.

But, in the final quarter when the Bulldogs made the final surge, the Eagles were outrebounded, 8-3.

Torrez led the Eagles in scoring with 22 points, but he was the only Eagle in double figures.

Empire was eliminated from the playoffs last Friday night as the Bulldogs fell to Oklahoma Christian Academy, 51-31.

Waurika finished the season with a 6-17 record, but the Eagles were extremely competitive in five of the last seven games of the season and for the most part were playing their best basketball of the season down the stretch.

EAGLE REGIONAL RUMBLINGS AND MORE: This was the first regional tournament appearance for a Waurika boys’ basketball team since 2019….Overall, the Eagles have made 47 appearances in regional tournament play with the first appearance coming in 1929….Waurika is now 42-46 in all regional tournament games…Waurika is 0-2 against Empire in regional tournament play….The Eagles are now 4-2 against the Bulldogs in all playoff basketball games… In the two previous meetings with Empire this season the Eagles gave up six and seven three-pointers, but allowed only four treys to Empire in the regional tourney game – but the final trey by Empire was the difference maker in the contest….The Eagles were only 2-8 this season when giving up six or more three-pointers in a game….The six wins for the Eagles is the fewest since the Eagles won only four contests in 2018….The 17 losses is the most since the Eagles had 18 losses in the 2018 season….Garret Bachand completed his third season and he is 33-36 as coach of the Eagles with this season being the only non-winning season in his tenure as coach of the Eagles….The Eagles won three of their first four games, but only three of their final 16 contests.

Empire 52, Waurika 49

(Boys Cons. Quarterfinals)

Waurika   

13     13      15       8—49

Empire     

11      9       14     18—52

WAURIKA – Treyton Torrez 8-6-22, Isaac Camarillo 4-0-9, Slade Cathey 4-1-9, Malachi Dodson 2-0-6, Gavin Torrez 1-0-3. TOTALS: 19-7-49. PF: 20. Three-pointers: Dodson 2, Camarillo, G. Torrez.

EMPIRE – McCray Weber 9-6-26, Easton Beck 2-5-11, Nycolas Spigner 2-4-8, Brodric Spigner 3-0-6, Colby Boyd 0-1-1. TOTALS: 16-16-52. PF: 16. Three-pointers: Weber 2, Beck 2.