By Michael Kinney
MUSTANG—Del City needed a win. Coming off a tough two-point loss to rival Midwest City before Christmas break, the defending 5A champions had fallen below .500 with the third defeat of the young year.
The Eagle’s opportunity to jump back into the win column came Thursday when they traveled to Mustang to compete in the Bank 7 Holiday Classic. They drew an experienced Seiling squad in the opener.
After letting SHS hang around in the first half, Del City slowly pulled away throughout the second to earn a 69-47 victory at the Mustang Activity Center.
Del City started the game using its defense to force the Wildcats into turnovers and bad shots. Seiling accounted for 19 turnovers on the night.
DC held an 18-9 lead after the first quarter, and it looked like they were going to be able to run Seiling off the floor in the first half. However, the Wildcats were able to keep the contest close with scrappy play and big shots from Hudson Hamar. They only trailed 33-21 at halftime.
However, in the third quarter. Del City’s deep bench was too much as they kept the pressure on a frustrated Seiling squad and fan base.
Jashawn McCalister led the Eagles balanced attack with 13 points on 5 of 8 shooting. He also posted six rebounds and two assists. Kentrell Thurston chipped in with 8 points, three rebounds and three assists.
All 12 players on the Del City roster scored at least two points and they won the rebound battle 34-27.
The Wildcats were paced by Hamar, who scored a game-high 23 points. The senior forward shot 7 of 9 from the field and was 8 for 8 from the free-throw line.
No other player from Seiling reached double figures in scoring as the Eagles were able to clamp down defensively. They forced SHS in shooting 38 percent from the field and just 14 percent from 3-point range.
With the victory, Del City advanced to the Holiday Classic semifinals where they were scheduled to face off with host Mustang. The Broncos rolled to a comfortable 71-50 win over Marlow in the final game from Day 1.
If the Eagles get past Mustang, they will have clinched a spot in Saturday’s championship game where they will face the winner of Carl Albert and Putnam City North. The Holiday Classic boys title game is set for 8:30 p.m.