January 11, 2014

Chickasha boys miss out in consolation final

Adam Troxtell
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — Another close Chickasha Classic tournament game ended in defeat for the Fightin’ Chicks, as they lost the consolation final 60-55 against Mt. St. Mary 60-55 on Saturday.

The Rockets had three players finish in double digits, and Kyle Mazza led them with 25 points. Freshman Brock Henderson, who has lit up his home court in this tournament so far, finished with 20, but foul trouble kept him from adding to that total. Sophomore Brandon Shumway had 10, senior Levi Kel sank eight in just the first half.

It was a back-and-forth contest to start, but Mazza was doing it all for Mt. St. Mary. Three close-range jumpers by Mazza gave his team its first six points. Chickasha kept pace with some outside shooting. Brandon Shumway first hit from long-range before Colten Christian sank another from well beyond the arc.

Mazza had to sit after picking up two quick fouls, and it was up to DJ Lloyd to keep the momentum going for Mt. St. Mary. He sank a three from the left corner before picking up a steal for a breakaway layup to extend his team’s lead to four. By the end of one, Chickasha trailed by just three.

Henderson finally got going in the second quarter. A steal at midcourt gave him his first field goal of the game and tied things up 15-15. He later gave Chickasha the lead with a three inside two minutes until halftime. Perhaps this brought the Mt. St. Mary defense out a little, because Levi Kel took advantage. He got four quick points with a close range jumper off of an offensive rebound. Taray Thomas then found Kel one-on-one down low to give him another jumper and extend Chickasha’s lead. By halftime, Kel had eight points and the Fightin’ Chicks led 26-19.

Mazza began where he left off, winning the battle against Kel down low for six points in the third quarter. But no matter how much it seemed Mt. St. Mary would start to pull away, a clutch Chickasha basket would even things up. Henderson’s third three pointer of the game tied it up first at 39-39, then Caleb Crowder sank a long-range jumper to make it 41-41.

Then came a big boost. With the clock winding down, Chickasha had to work a quick inbounds play. Thomas stumbled with it under pressure at the top of the arc, and it looked like the clock would run out. The ball wound up with Shumway on the left wing, and the quickly taken three went in at the sound of the buzzer. It was all tied 44-44, but momentum was with Chickasha after three quarters.

That was evident when Christian took charge. A pair of back-to-back threes gave him four for the contest and gave Chickasha a 50-46 lead when Mt. St. Mary called a timeout. Mazza gave his team four points back, and that put Mt. St. Mary up 51-50.

That let the Rockets take their time and wind down the clock. The few chances Chickasha got didn’t fall, and Mt. St. Mary made their foul shots. A buzzer-beating three from Henderson ended the contest, but it only served to pad the youngster’s stats.