CIMARRON — A narrow Cimarron win over the Moscow Wildcats capped an otherwise uneventful second day of Cimarron’s Bluejay Invitational, as the Bluejays beat the Wildcats 48-44 Tuesday night.
Sophomore Storm Flores made four clutch free throws in the last 20 seconds of play, and senior Justin Fugitt hit one with 3.1 seconds left to give the Bluejays a four-point lead that essentially iced the game.
Moscow led 15-10 after the first quarter, and 24-23 at halftime. By the end of the third, Cimarron had tied it at 35.
Cimarron coach Iric Mawhirter said the Bluejays knew Moscow was good, but that his team also has plenty to work on, from missing easy buckets to getting outrebounded, to playing the defense the wrong way, the latter of which he said the team talked about at halftime.
“We’re going for steals in a zone (defense),” Mawhirter said. “The zone’s designed to get our hands up and get high, arcing passes, and we’re going for steals and getting out of position, giving up easy buckets. We had the shot chart at halftime, and I don’t know how many shots they made in the lane.”
Still, the Bluejays did prevail, and move on to face rival Meade at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Meade advanced after beating Satanta Monday.
“I’ve got to give Moscow a ton of credit, and I feel bad for them,” Mawhirter said. “They probably deserved a more-favorable opening-round game, but (Friday’s game is) going to be tough. They’re quick, and they’re aggressive and going to be high energy. I think if we can execute, and play within ourselves and eliminate some of the mistakes tonight, I think we’ll give ourselves a chance.”
None of Tuesday’s other games were close.
In the day’s opener, the South Gray Rebels girls basketball team rolled through the Moscow Wildcats 57-12.
The Rebels were coming off a season-opening loss at Bucklin Friday.
“We played a little better ball tonight,” Rebels coach Paul Clancy said. “We were a little more aggressive, and the shots fell, and that helps when shots fall.”
After Friday’s loss, the team talked about the need to rebound better, Clancy said.
“We still need to rebound better,” Clancy said. “Our defense was much better.”
The Rebels played a slightly different defense Tuesday, Clancy said. While a result like Tuesday’s can hide a lot of issues, Clancy said there were some things he could take away from the game.
“I take that we more confident in our shooting from outside, we were more patient on offense (and) getting the ball inside and running our offense,” he said. “It’s a confidence-builder for our girls. The other night we didn’t shoot very well, so we’ll look forward to the next game and hopefully take this kind of shooting into the next game.”
Rebels sophomore Megan Tarn led all scorers with 17 points, many of which came on fastbreaks.
Senior Hannah Askew had 15 points, and sophomore Debbie Peters had 10. Junior Christy Wiebe had 9 points, and sophomore Elizabeth Thiessen had 4.
South Gray’s boys team followed up their girls with a 79-30 win over Minneola.
After that, Minneola’s girls fell to Meade 56-31.