By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
Photo: Morgan Miller
The Ardmore Holiday Invitational has been a mess of delays, but it hasn't slowed down the Sandite scoring effort.
The whole tournament was pushed back 24 hours due to the blizzards, flooding, tornadoes, and whatever else the Oklahoma weather was throwing at us Sunday and Monday. Then, the Sandites' opening game against Greenhill Prep (12-3) was delayed a further two hours Tuesday night, and Wednesday night's game against the tournament hosts was delayed an hour and a half.
Tuesday night's game against the Dallas-area private school was a back and forth effort till midway through the fourth quarter when the Sandites finally pulled away for a 73-54 win and a 6-0 record.
At halftime the lead was a mere 36-33.
Three Sandites scored in the double digits--the same three that lead the team overall for the season. Colt Savage led all scorers with 18 points, tying the career-high record he set last season. Not far behind him was fellow sophomore Brooks Haddock with 16 and Kyle Keener with 15.
Greenhill also had three double-digit scorers. Kreitling and Bryant both scored 13 followed by Woods with 11.
The action continued Wednesday night as the Sandites took on the hosting Ardmore team who had just defeated Western Heights 88-72 the night before. The #5 team in 5A had a 5-3 record going into the game, and Sand Springs was out to spoil it.
Sand Springs got on the board first with a three-pointer from Mack Thompson who tied his season-high with ten points. The two teams were back and forth in scoring, but the Tigers led for most of the first period before Sand Springs began to tie it up towards the end of the quarter.
Finally, Kyle Keener sank a two and added a free-throw to retake the lead, 19-18. It would only last a moment, however, as Carlos Coppage would nail a three at the buzzer.
The two teams traded the lead with each of the first three shots of the second period before Thompson, Keener, and Colt Savage scored back-to-back to give their team some wiggle room.
The Sandites trailed by as much as 4 in the first period, then led by as much as 7 in the second before a sloppy finish gave the Tigers three-straight turnovers to narrow the game to 37-36 going into the half.
The Sandites missed 15 field goals in the first half and gave up 14 turnovers.
Whatever Coach Savage said to them at half time seemed to work, because the boys only gave up 7 more turnovers in the second half.
The better offensive effort helped Sand Springs to outscore the Tigers 16-11 in the third, but the beginning of the fourth belonged to Ardmore who tied things up at 55 halfway through the fourth.
Finally, Sand Springs pulled away, scoring 19 points in the last 4 minutes to ice the cake for a 74-60 win.
Free-throws seemed to be the Tigers' kryptonite as the home team shot 13 of 25 from the line compared to the Sandites' 19 of 26. Ardmore did lead in turnovers, however, giving up the ball only 13 times to the Sandites' 21.
Brooks Haddock led all scorers with a season-high 26 points, chased by Ardmore's Marvin Johnson with 21. All together, Sand Springs had 4 players in double digits, while Ardmore only managed 2. Jacob Taber also scored a personal season-best with 5 points.
Sand Springs (7-0) will play in the tournament championship Thursday at 2:30.