PITTSBURG — The Pittsburg High School boys’ basketball teams advanced to the second round of the Border Classic on Thursday with a 62-33 win over Carl Junction, while the girls’ team was sent to the consolation bracket after falling to Tulsa East Central 46-43.
PURPLE DRAGONS ADVANCE PAST BULLDOGS
A wild start to the Border Classic saw the Pittsburg boys’ basketball team come away with a 62-33 win over Carl Junction.
It was all Purple Dragons right from the opening tip, as they scored the first six points of the contest and never looked back from there in the wire-to-wire victory.
“This is a tournament with a lot of really good teams,” PHS head coach Kiley Roelfs said. “So to start it off with a win and be able to advance is a big deal. I thought our guys earned it tonight. We came out and defended well. I thought we were really locked in on the scouting report and did a really good job guarding CJ’s two post players who are really good athletes.”
Marque English quickly made his presence known, scoring six points in the opening three minutes of the game to help Pittsburg build an early 9-1 lead.
The Purple Dragons went on to take a 12-4 lead into the second quarter and increased the lead to 30-13 following an 8-0 run which included four points from Isaac Leverenz.
PHS continued to pour it on in the second half, out scoring Carl Junction 22-9 in the third quarter — with help from a trio of 3-pointers from Drew Roelfs — before coasting to the win in the fourth.
CARDINALS RALLY LATE TO BEAT DRAGONS
A second-half rally by Tulsa East Central lifted the Cardinals to a 46-43 win over the Pittsburg girls’ team.
The Cardinals overcame a 10-point deficit and took a three-point lead on the strength of a 12-1 run at the end of the third quarter and held off the Purple Dragons in the fourth to earn the win.
“I think our intensity in the third quarter didn’t match our intensity in the first quarter,” PHS head coach Kris Crotts said. “I felt like they were getting to all of the loose balls and rebounds because they were getting after it a little more than we were. There were times when we struggled to get a defensive rebound, while they were getting two or three chances to score in a possession and they capitalized.”
The Purple Dragons hit the ground running, scoring the first seven points of the game, with five coming from Madden Petty.
Tulsa pulled back to within two after ending the first quarter with five consecutive points, but the Purple Dragons continued its momentum in the second, out scoring the Cardinals 11-7 in the second to take an 18-12 lead into the break at halftime.
The second quarter was highlighted by seven points from Petty and included four points from Kaydn Matlock.
Abbie Casper opened the second half with a quick two points to push Pittsburg’s lead to eight, but the Cardinals went on to take a two-point advantage following a 12-1 run at the end of the third quarter.
A 3-pointer by the Cardinals pushed their lead to 33-27, before four points scored between Kaitlyn Kidd and Matlock brought the Purple Dragons back to within two at the seven-minute mark of the fourth quarter.
Tulsa responded with another 3-pointer, which sparked a 7-2 run for the Cardinals, elevating them to the win.
Petty led the way for PHS in scoring with a team-high 19 points.
Kidd came in close behind with 12 points of her own.
The PHS boys’ team will take on Carthage in round two at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, while the girls’ team will take on Wichita West at 5:45 p.m. on Friday.
— Jordan Buckamneer is the sports editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @jbuckamneer.