An epic comeback and a Coach Eric Litherland talk with two of his key players Saturday, vaulted the Shawnee Wolves to a thrilling 69-60 victory over the El Reno Indians for the consolation championship of the Shawnee Invitational.
Shawnee overcame a 16-point deficit and trailed by nine, entering the fourth quarter, before outscoring El Reno 27-9 in the fourth to win its second straight in the tournament after falling to Choctaw in the first round. The Wolves upended Santa Fe South 62-44 in a consolation bracket game on Friday.
Senior Jaylon Orange, who was named to the All-Tournament Team, fired in four 3-pointers and finished with 26 points and junior T.J. Bishop added 20 points and eight rebounds as the Wolves' comeback was fueled by their second-half play.
“I pulled them out and had a talk with both guys (Orange and Bishop). They responded and did a good job,” said Litherland.
Orange knocked down his six final shots, including one 3-pointer. He sank all five of his fourth quarter shots and finished the game with a pair of steals. He was 4-of-6 from the foul line.
Bishop had 17 of his points after halftime and posted up with authority, whether it was scoring or drawing the foul. He was able to capitalize by connecting on 8-of-10 free throws for the game, including 7-of-9 over the final two quarters. Bishop also had four old-fashioned 3-point play opportunities and completed three of them.
Senior Tanner Morris contributed 15 points, including one trey, while converting 4-of-6 foul shots and recording three steals.
Shawnee's second-half pressure defense also played a key role as the Wolves forced the Indians into 16 turnovers, including 11 over the last two quarters. Shawnee had only 10 miscues.
“When we have 10 or less turnovers, we've done a pretty good job,” Litherland said. “Our guys played tough defense the second half.”
Kayden Shaw added five points, six boards and a kick-out assist before fouling out and Jalen Wicks rounded out the Wolves' scoring with a 3-point jumper.
Shawnee held a 33-30 rebounding edge.
El Reno was led by the inside presence of junior James Reveles and freshman Devon Tre Davis with 17 and 13 points respectively. Davis ended up with nine rebounds and Reveles snatched seven.
Reveles went 7-of-12 from the floor while Davis was 7-of-10.
Freshman Carter Roman Nose added 10 points and six boards for the Indians and teammate Rossi Harjo chipped in nine points, including one trey (one of only two for El Reno).
The Wolves were 17-of-24 and the Indians were 10-of-19 from the charity stripe.
Shawnee surrendered 39 first-half points while giving up only 21 in the second.
Shawnee 62, Santa Fe South 44 (Friday)
Three Wolves scored in double figures and Shawnee's defense forced 17 turnovers and produced 12 steals in the consolation bracket clash on Friday.
Morris fired in 24 points with a pair of treys and drained 4-of-5 free shots while corralling four rebounds, three assists and two steals to lead Shawnee. He was 9-of-16 from the field.
Orange knocked down three 3-pointers on his way to 18 points as he also pulled down six boards, dished out three assists and registered a pair of steals.
Bishop recorded four steals and two assists to go with his 10 points. Shaw was next with eight points, off four slam dunks, to go with four rebounds, three assists, two steals and a blocked shot.
The Wolves shot 45.6% from the field while limiting the Saints to 36%. Shawnee also owned a 36-26 rebounding advantage.
Marlin Hill sank five 3-point shots and led Santa Fe South with 18 points. Greyson Denton, with three treys, ended up with 11 points in a losing cause.
The Wolves nailed 6-of-10 shots from the floor in the opening quarter in building a 13-7 lead. They followed that up with a 15-6 run through the second quarter in creating a 28-13 halftime cushion.
The Saints outscored Shawnee 16-10 in the third to trim the deficit to single digits. They got as close as six, but settled for a nine-point deficit (38-29) at the end of three periods.
The Wolves then closed the game with a 24-15 spurt to extend their lead.
This article originally appeared on The Shawnee News-Star: Oklahoma high school basketball: Shawnee boys overcome deficit to win