Using an average of six passes per offensive possession, Guthrie tried to take away one of the best elements of El Reno High School’s boys basketball team’s game plan – up-tempo play.
The move worked, but only for a half.
El Reno shook loose of the Bluejays slow-down style with a 6-of-10 shooting effort in the third period to help pull away for a 66-55 win over Guthrie on senior night.
“It was a little emotional (senior night) but we had to stay on top of that and stay focused because it’s still important for us to go out and get the win,” said senior guard Taie Shockley.
The win over the Bluejays gave El Reno its second Suburban Conference sweep of the season as EHS improved to 7-2 overall against league teams.
The Indians are now 3-2 in games which count toward the league championship.
El Reno, ranked No.6 in Class 5A, improved to 15-6 on the season. Kale Simon’s team will have road games at Western Heights and Del City to close out the regular season.
Guthrie took an early 6-0 lead on El Reno before the Indians rallied with 3-pointers from A.J. Sioux and Rhett Kouba and a layup by Shockley. Elijah Durham’s trey gave EHS a 12-9 lead after one.
Guthrie’s slowdown tactics earned a 16-all tie midway through the second period, but El Reno responded with a 16-8 run to fashion a 31-24 halftime lead. Eli Hollis led the way with six points in the paint, followed by buckets from Dyson Plumley, Justin Hester, Gage Armold and Shockley.
Any thoughts of another Guthrie rally were quickly dashed as El Reno opened the third period on a 9-4 break. Hollis, Plumley and Durham all scored baskets along with a trey from Kouba.
El Reno added another seven points on buckets from Hollis and Armold and a 3-of-5 effort from the free-throw line to cap a 16-11 third-period scoring edge.
The Indians led 47-35 after three frames.
El Reno’s lead never dropped below double digits in the final period. It reached a high of 21 points on a Durham basket as the senior went off for 15 points over the final eight minutes. He ripped a trio of 3-pointers and a fast-break slam dunk to highlight the effort.
Shockley and Hollis added buckets each as El Reno put up a 19-point effort.
“Coach had a good game plan for us, we just needed to start getting into their passing lanes. We just had to play harder to speed up the game and make them (Guthrie) play our style of game and not theirs,” said Shockley.
Durham led all El Reno scorers with 21 points, while Hollis chipped in 14 points. Kouba paced those in single digits with nine points, while Shockley had six points and Armold added seven points.
Plumley was held to a quiet four points.
El Reno logged 32 rebounds in the win as Hollis pulled down six boards and Shockley grabbed five.
Plumley and Kouba had four boards each, while Durham and Sioux had three apiece.