No. 13 Sapulpa overcomes No. 18 Sand Springs 72-68; Kyle Keener scores 21

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Sapulpa 72 CPHS 68

1Q Sapulpa 13-10
2Q Sand Springs 18-14
3Q Sand Springs 23-18
4Q Sapulpa 27-17

Fouls: Sand Springs 18, Sapulpa 13.
Free Throws: Sand Springs 16-of-20. Sapulpa 13-of-24.
Field Goals: Sand Springs 24-of-46. Sapulpa 22-of-41.
Three-pointers: Sand Springs 4-of-11. Sapulpa 10-of-20. 

Scoring: (Sand Springs) Keener 21, Colt Savage 21, Garbey 8, Cale Savage 6, Taber 4, Durkee 4, Golightly 3, Wash 2. (Sapulpa) Smith 23, Balance 21, Phipps 17, Hoggatt 11, Combs 2, Williams 2. 

(Sand Springs only)
Offensive Rebounds: Golightly 3, Cale Savage 2, Colt Savage 1, Durkee 1, Wash 1.
Defensive Rebounds: Colt Savage 11, Keener 6, Durkee 3, Wash 2, Cale Savage 1, Taber 1.
Steals: Keener 1.
Assists: Cale Savage 2, Wash 2, Taber 1, Keener 1.
Blocks: Keener 3, Durkee 1.
Fouls: Keener 4, Garbey 4, Wash 3, Colt Savage 2, Cale Savage 2, Durkee 1, Taber 1, Golightly 1.

The Sandites won half of the game, but they couldn't win the whole thing. Entering the fourth quarter with a 51-45 lead over their archrivals, the No. 18 ranked Charles Page High School boys basketball team (6-6) was outscored 27-17 and had victory wrestled from their grip. 

No. 13 Sapulpa (7-2) was deadly from three-point range throughout the night, and it was a series of threes in the fourth period that gave them the momentum to reclaim their lead. The Chieftains shot 50% from three-point range and 54% on field goals overall, and it was that killer accuracy that allowed them to overcome the fifth-ranked defense in Class 6A.

The game was heavily contested throughout and never slowed down for a second. The scoring snowballed as the night went on with more points being scored in each period than the one before it. 

Jacob Garbey came out with a layup on the first possession to draw first blood for the Sandites and Kyle Keener sank a free throw to make it 3-0, but Keenan Balance sank back-to-back twos to claim the first Sapulpa lead. Colt Savage tied it up on a free throw and Keener made his first field goal of the night to reclaim the advantage, but Julian Smith sank a deep three immediately after. Caleb Wash subbed in for the Sandites and scored on his first possession of the game, but Balance and Trey Phipps hit back-to-back threes to make it 13-8. Josh Taber ended the period off with a two-pointer.

The Sandites won the second quarter handily, thanks to twelve points from Keener, four from Colt Savage, and two from Cole Durkee to take a 28-27 lead into the half. The Sandites played their best period in the third, outscoring Sapulpa 23-18. Once again Garbey started off the half, and once again Sapulpa battled right back and the two teams exchanged leads.

Sand Springs took its final lead of the night with a two point basket from Colt Savage, followed by a steal and dunk from Keener to make it 43-39. Colt Savage and Peyton Golightly added three more apiece to make it 49-39, their highest lead of the evening. Smith added yet another three pointer, followed by a two from Durkee. The Sandites ended the period up 51-45, but Sapulpa finished on a strong note as Phipps went three-for-three from the charity stripe in the final second. 

Sand Springs staved off their opponents till midway through the final stanza, but Phipps and Hunter Hoggatt hit back-to-back threes to cut things to 60-59 and Smith hit a two for the lead. Garbey went one-for-two from the charity stripe to tie it back up, but Smith took the lead once again, and this time for good. Hoggatt made another three and the Sandites resorted to desperation fouls to try and win it. Smith sank five free throws in the final minute and a last second three-pointer from Cale Savage wasn't enough to overcome the deficit. 

Smith led all scorers with 23 points, followed by Keener and Balance with 21 each and Colt Savage with 20. Phipps wasn't far behind with 17 and Hoggatt had 11. Keener's 21 marked his fourth game this season leading the Sandites, and was just two points short of breaking the career-high he set a month ago against the OKC Storm. The University of Central Oklahoma committed senior is averaging just under 17 points per game this season. Colt Savage also picked up 12 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.

The Sandites will look to reclaim their winning record this weekend at the Interstate Classic in Coffeyville, Kansas and to build some momentum before taking on undefeated No. 1 Union (12-0) next Tuesday at home. Sapulpa will compete at the Shawnee Invitational this weekend before hosting unranked Bixby (5-6) next Tuesday.