By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
BEAVER, Okla.-The Texhoma Red Devils used their speed and depth to take down the Beaver Dusters, spoiling their homecoming, 61-50.
"I thought we played well," Red Devils coach Greg Higgins said. "We were trying to speed it up to try and wear them down, because they don't sub as much. I thought we did a better job on (Garrett) Weber in the second half."
The Red Devils outpaced the Dusters 37-21 in the second and third quarters with the help of three small runs.
Beaver led 15-13 early in the second quarter when Bryson Beattie (10 points, all in second quarter) scored all eight Red Devil points in an 8-0 run over the next 1:24 to put Texhoma up 21-15. Later in the quarter with Beaver trailing by three, Texhoma went on an 8-1 run that pushed the lead to 10 with less than two minutes left in the first half.
Beaver cut the lead back to single digits by half, but still trailed 33-25.
Beaver's Kalen Gabel scored on the Dusters first possession of the second half to cut the lead to six, but a 9-2 run by the Red Devils, all scored by Dylan Koehn including two threes, pushed the lead to 14 (43-29). Koehn was on fire in the third, scoring 13 of his team-high 17, including three 3-pointers. He was 4 of 7 from beyond the arc for the game.
Gabel (13 points) kept the Dusters within striking distance, scoring all 10 of Beaver's points in the third. Gabel finished 6 of 13 from the field, but struggled at the line finishing 1 of 9.
"We missed so many free throws and so many easy shots that we limit what we can do with our size because of missed opportunities," Dusters coach Garrett Bebermeyer said. "We have to learn how to adjust to how the refs are calling a game."
Logan Baldwin (9 points) hit two threes early in the fourth for the Dusters to cut the lead to 12, but Beaver could get know closer. Texhoma sealed the victory by making 5 of their last 6 free throws.
"Our lack of depth really showed," Bebermeyer said. "They were able to go ten deep. We really get in trouble right now if we sub without Kaleb (McDonald). I'm hoping that some of our younger guys can develop and help us out by the time we start the playoffs. Right now we're going through some growing pains, but hopefully it will make us better come playoff time."
The game had begun as a back and forth battle with two lead changes and four ties. Nathan Kniting (15 points) scored the Red Devils first 10 points. Beaver's Garrett Weber scored 16 of his game-high 18 in the first half, but was only 1 of 6 from the field in the second half.
"We're getting better at playing faster, but we've still got to make some better decisions," Higgins said. "We're starting to gel. I thought it was a good step, but we've got to continue to get better."
Texhoma (10-6) will travel to Balko Tuesday. Beaver (9-5) will be at Hooker Tuesday.