After splitting with OKC Storm on Tuesday, Enid was hoping for a better outcome Friday at the Enid Gym against Putnam City North. EHS still split, but in the process, the Pacers got a statement win no one will forget for a while.
The Pacers beat the 17th ranked Lady Panthers, 47-45, while the 20th ranked Plainsmen lost to the third ranked Panthers, 93-60.
The Pacers came out ready, forcing turnovers early, but it was PC-N that took the first basket to go up 2-0 with 6:19 left in the first quarter.
Two threes by Kirya Mack gave the Pacers the lead, however, 6-2 later in the quarter. PC-N took the lead back though with an 11-3 run to end the quarter.
Enid jumped out to another 6-2 run to start the second, leading 17-15 at one point thanks to good rebounding and seven points in the quarter by Mack, who finished with 20.
Going into the locker room, Enid held a 25-12 lead over PC-N, reeling from a loss to fourth ranked Putnam City West on Tuesday.
Coming out of the half, Putnam City North went on its biggest run of the night, outscoring the Pacers, 14-6 to take back the lead. The run was stopped by a made shot by Taylor Woods, two of her six points on the night.
The Pacers closed the gap and tied the game 35-35 to open the quarter. For the next eight minutes, it was all offense.
Then came the final 44 seconds.
With the Pacers trailing by three, 45-42, MaryAngel Jibbwa drove down the court, into the paint and made a shot, also drawing a foul. Jibbwa made the free throw to tie the game up.
As the Lady Panthers inbounded the next possession, Jibbwa stole the ball and hit a layup with 36 seconds left to give the Pacers the 47-45 lead and send the crowd into ecstasy.
Even though Jubbwa only scored 12 points, her seven in the fourth — and five in a row — will be one fans won’t forget for a while.
“It was huge’” said Enid head coach William Milton. “It was a game changer for us. She is playing through a lot. Emotionally it was really good for us.”
PC-N drove down the floor, but a shot was blocked and the Pacers held on for the first win over a ranked team in years.
While the win is a big one, perhaps the biggest of the last two decades, head coach Milton hadn’t come to grips with what the Pacers — 1-23 last season — had accomplished.
“I don’t the magnitude of the past,” Milton said. “I wasn’t here, but I know it was big by the reactions. Even just the looks on Putnam North’s faces. Our team didn’t do anything out of character that I didn’t expect.”
In an early season loss to Choctaw, Milton said he felt like his players didn’t finish. If they got down, they stayed down.
“The more they learn the game, the better the end will be, clearly,” Milton said. “It’s a matter of learning how to win and I feel that
“Game-to-game, they are learning different facets of the game that will help them win,” Milton said,
The Pacers, now 5-,7 will play at Midwest City on Tuesday
PUTNAM CITY NORTH 96, ENID 60
The Plainsmen started the game on the other side of a 15-8 run over the course of the first 5:30.
“We punched them in the mouth the first couple of possessions,” said first-year Enid coach Jonathan Reed. “After that, we couldn’t handle the pressure. We just didn’t perform like we should have. Our guys were ready to play, but not ready to match their level.”
From there, Enid never quite got close enough to touch the Panthers.
A 26-11 first quarter lead for PC-N propelled the Panthers to what Reed said was a sobering loss.
“I hope it brings our kids back down to earth,” Reed said. “I knew it would be a challenge for us to come out and get a win. With them (PC-N) coming off a loss, they played hard and hungry.”
The Panther held a 47-32 halftime lead and scored 46 in the second half to seal the win.
The loss is the biggest loss of Reed’s tenure, but is a loss he said they need to be able to take.
“I think you have to take those lumps,” he said. “It’s possible that we take that and refocus and ready to go to war against Midwest City.”
A war is what it will be down the stretch for the Plainsmen.
Other than next weekend’s Newcastle Sweet Pea Tournament, three of the Plainsmen’s last five games are against teams currently ranked in the top 20 in 6A, including a regular season final at PC-N.
“The schedule does us no favors,” Reed said. “The rest of the season is going to be dogfights.”
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