By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
The Midwest City boys basketball team defended their title at the Bruce Gray Invitational last week.
The No. 11-ranked Bombers swept the three-day event, posting wins over Deer Creek, Heritage Hall and Bartlesville.
This year’s event was changed from an eight-team tournament to a four-team festival format.
Midwest City (9-4) opened the festival with a 56-41 win over the host Antlers.
A balanced offensive attack included 10 different scorers for the Bombers. Makale Smith led the way with 11 points and Ethan Ganaway scored 9 points.
Midwest City led 26-21 at halftime.
On Friday, the Bombers used a strong finish to beat Class 4A No. 2-ranked Heritage Hall, 63-51.
“I’m really proud of our guys,” said coach Corky McMullen. “We played with great effort and great harmony today. We really shared the game offensively and had great defensive partnership.”
After trailing 39-37 at the end of the third quarter, they leaned on Israel Hart and Smith in the fourth. The seniors combined to score 21 of the team’s 26 points in the period.
Hart paced the Bombers with 25 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter. He was 10 of 10 at the free throw line. Kwali Sampleton and Smith were also in double figures scoring with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Midwest City also did a great job defensively against one of the state’s top players in Trey Alexander. They held the Auburn commit to 19 points.
“Trey is an excellent player and is extremely hard to guard one on one,” McMullen said. “We rotated DJ Irvin, Ronnie Thomas, and Artez Young on him and simply tilted the floor with off ball guys. We did a good job wearing him down, but he still made some great plays and made everyone around him better.”
The Bombers finished the weekend with a 64-44 win over Bartlesville on Saturday morning.
Irvin was the leading scorer with 18 points. Hart finished with 17 and Sampleton had 11 in the win.
Midwest City beat Edmond Memorial last year in the finals of the Bruce Gray Invitational.
Next up for the Bombers will be a road game against Enid on Friday.