Cimarron girls, Meade boys cruise at invitational
By KEVIN THOMPSON
CIMARRON — It might have been just the second game of the season, but it's clear why Cimarron was the preseason No. 2 team in the area.
The Lady Jays ran nearly every element to perfection on both sides of the ball Monday night on their way to a 76-19 win over Deerfield on opening day of the Blue Jay Invitational.
Four girls scored in double figures for Cimarron, led by Ashtynn Burns' 18 and Morgan Ediger's 15.
Deerfield's inexperience and lack of size helped Cimarron's numbers as the Lady Spartans committed 29 turnovers, 11 of those directly caused by the Jays' highly effective fullcourt press in the first half that led to 13 Cimarron points.
To close the half, Cimarron converted eight times out of nine trips while Deerfield's shooting woes continued and the Jays took a 41-8 lead into the break.
Focus is the key for the Jays, and it was the message they sent early, but it wasn't from the starting five. If he had any concerns from this game, coach David Ediger said it was that starting group's lack of focus.
Ediger sat his starters with just an 8-3 lead after only scoring on four of their first 10 possessions.
"Tonight, I told the starters they didn't really earn the right to start," he said. "And they understand it's something you earn; it's a privilege."
The second group did a great job of bringing focus and energy back into the game, sending a message to the starters about what he's wanting, Ediger said.
"They did a good job after they came back in," he noted.
And he doesn't play favorites. In last Friday's win, it was the second group's lack of focus that got them some extra bench time.
Focus is a factor in this squad's success, no matter what the score, Ediger said.
Deerfield had trouble containing 6-2 Eva Koopman, who came in with the second group, dominated the inside on both ends, and forced Deerfield to stay outside.
Koopman finished with 13 points and five rebounds.
Katie White came off the bench late and scored 10 points, all in the final quarter.
Cimarron played man-to-man in the first half and zone in the second, giving them valuable minutes running both effectively, Ediger said.
Before Friday's semifinal game between either Sublette or Wichita County, the Jays will be working on cutting down the turnovers and staying active but patient, he added.
For Doug Crandall's girls, it was inexperience and lack of size — not effort — that hampered the Lady Spartans.
"I'm not disappointed with how my girls played," he said. "They played very hard, but we're not very big and we're very young. When you start two sophomores and two freshmen, they're going to make mistakes."
Hailey Novack led Deerfield with 13 of the Spartans' 19 points.
In an earlier girls contest, it was Meade taking out South Gray, 52-22. In today's girls contests, it will be Sublette facing Wichita County at 3 p.m. and Satanta taking on Buckin at 6:15 p.m. Semifinals and finals, along with consolation games, will be played Friday and Saturday.
Meade boys 78, Deerfield 19
With a state football title just more than a week old, the Meade Buffaloes haven't missed a beat in the transition to the hardcourt, blowing past Deerfield 78-19 in the opening round of the Bluejay Invitational.
Meade opened with a 14-10 first-quarter lead and then rolled with a 24-4 second quarter to cruise to the easy win.
Deerfield, which scored 50 points on Friday, hit a field goal with 3:35 left in the first period and didn't get another until 7:17 in the fourth, the Spartans' final field goal.
Meade shot 28-for-58 from the floor while the Spartans were just 5-for-40.
The Buffaloes also won the rebounding battle, 47-28.
Unfortunately for Deerfield, the 28 also matched its turnover total.
Morgan Davis led Meade with 23 points, followed by Jett Little with 17. Alex Mata led Deerfield with seven points.
Meade awaits the winner of today's 4:45 p.m. Satanta-Wichita County matchup, while Deerfield will face the loser. In the earlier boys upper bracket game, it was South Gray leading from start to finish en route to a 60-49 win over Sublette. Trenton Holloway's 19 points led the Rebels, who also got 15 and 12 points from Carson Skidmore and Tate Skinner. Sublette was led by Taylor Williamson and Jake Gesling with 17 and 10 points, respectively.