Carl Albert girls come up short in 63-50 loss
By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
EL RENO – The Carl Albert boys basketball team believes they’ll be a serious contender in Class 5A again this season.
And they certainly looked the part Friday night in a 66-49 win over El Reno in the season opener at Jenks-Simmons Field House.
“You never know when you’re opening up on the road and El Reno is a tough play,” said coach Jay Price. “They’re tough here and always have a good team. We played well enough to win.”
Ryan Reynolds and brothers Quincy and Jayden Hopkins powered the Titans offense. Quincy led the way with 19 points including a thunderous slam dunk in the fourth quarter. Reynolds had 16 points with a pair of 3-pointers and Jayden scored 13.
After an evenly matched first quarter, the Titans broke the game open in the second. El Reno’s Bradley Island hit a 3-pointer to make it an 18-15 score. The Titans outscored the Indians 15-1 in the final minutes of the period for a 33-16 halftime lead.
Carl Albert extended its lead to 52-31 in the third quarter.
El Reno made up some ground in the fourth but couldn’t close the deficit. Carter Roman Nose scored nine points in the quarter. Hutch Russell and Reynolds both hit treys in the fourth to make it a 66-49 final.
“I thought we did a good job on the boards and defensively during the main part of the game,” Price said. “We got a little sloppy at the end, but overall, our kids did a good job and stayed with the game plan.”
The Carl Albert girls were not so fortunate as they lost 63-50.
Coach Kyle Richey wasn’t happy about the loss but loved the effort from his young squad. The team started four sophomores and one senior in the season opener.
“We were disappointed because we didn’t win the game, but we grew up tonight,” Richey said.
The Lady Titans fell behind by double digits at halftime but continued to press El Reno until the final horn sounded.
“We could’ve laid down and gotten blown out and we didn’t,” Richey said. “We’re going to be fine. We’re going to get back to work.”
The Lady Titans battled foul trouble much of the night including from their two returning starters in senior Ausha Moore and sophomore Skylar Anderson. The pair had to sit out half of the first quarter and all the second.
Richey went deep into the bench, playing 10 girls in the game.
Jakary Brown led the team in scoring with 14 points. Essence Curry had 13 points and Audrey Plunkett finished with 10 points.
Carl Albert led 14-9 at the end of the first quarter, before falling into trouble in the second. El Reno flipped the game in the second, turning a five-point deficit into a 32-20 halftime lead.
The Lady Titans continued to scrap and claw in the second half. They narrowed the deficit to single digits on several occasions but couldn’t overtake the Lady Indians.
Carl Albert hit the road Tuesday night against Crossings Christian. The Lady Titans will compete in the Duncan Tournament this weekend.