By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
DRUMMOND, Okla. —
Complacency is not in the vocabulary of Drummond’s boys basketball team.
The undefeated Bulldogs (10-0) were back on the court Monday working hard after winning the Northwestern Oklahoma State Univ-ersity Prep Cl-assic Saturday afternoon.
The No. 18-ranked Class A Bulldogs host Medford tonight and have two more games, Kremlin-Hillsdale, next Monday and Ringwood Dec. 21, before the Christmas break. There’s no rest until then.
“With winning comes more responsibility,’’ said Drummond head coach Curtis Foster, who picked up his first in-season tournament championship in his fifth year at the school.
“You’ve got to work harder. You’ve got to do some things better. We’re not just going to walk in people’s gyms and sneak up, and all of sudden Drummond beats somebody. Everybody is expecting us to win now.’’
Foster said the Bulldogs have picked up where they left off from last season when they won 17 games, including a district championship.
“Some of the hard work is paying off,’’ he said. “The guys who played last year are learning from experience. We’re doing things right.’’
The Bulldogs beat Burlington, ranked No. 11 in Class B, 42-30 in the tournament finals Saturday. The 30 points represented the Elks’ lowest offensive output of the season.
Drummond’s pressure defense forced 23 turnovers, an impressive performance against a Randy Turney-coached team known for not beating itself.
“Our defensive pressure made the difference,’’ Foster said. “We were tracking the ball a little stronger and doing things right. We turned up the tempo defensive-wise and things started clicking our way.’’
Foster said he learned from Turney the night before when the Elks beat South Barber 34-32 in the semifinals.
“I saw how they beat South Barber,’’ Foster said. “I made sure they wouldn’t beat us the same way. We were able to spread out the floor farther.’’
The 42 points was Drummond’s lowest offensive output of the season. However, the Bulldogs committed only eight turnovers and took more than twice as many shots from the field as the Elks (40 to 17).
Drummond was 17 of 40 from the field. Brady Kokojan was the lone player in double figures with 17, going 6 of 13 from the field and 5 of 7 from the line.
“Our game is designed around putting pressure on people and controlling the tempo,’’ Foster said. “Our defense has to be our offense. If you have both sides covered, you’re going to be in good shape. When you play hard on defense, we get the easy shots ... the steals ... that’s going to be the difference in games, layups and free throws.’’
Drummond has shown an ability to adjust. It had beaten the Elks 69-67 on Nov. 6.
Kokojan leads the offensive attack, averaging 20.3 points per game, including five games of 20 or more. He had 52 points in the NWOSU Tournament.
But Drummond is far from a one-man show.
“It hasn’t always been Kokojan,’’ Foster said. “There have been points in games where we have had two or three different kids step up and contribute and give him a break on the floor from having to score all the time.’’
Parker Jankey is averaging 14.2 points per game, including 24 points in a 49-46 win over Cherokee in the semifinals. He had 27 in the first Burlington game.
“We have been riding him like a horse lately,’’ Foster said.
Foster said he’s been giving Jankey more responsibility such as calling defenses on the floor.
“We’re trying to make him see the game from a different perspective, like as a coach,’’ Foster said.
Cody Welch is averaging 7.9 points per game, including a 22-point effort against Freedom in the first round of the tournament. Zak Wilson is averaging 8.6 points per game and Scott Rodenberg is averaging 4.3 points.
Drummond has the size it has lacked in the past with 6-foot-7 Clayton Wilson coming off the bench. That has allowed the Bulldogs to match up better.
“We can average out from 6-2 to 6-3 at times,’’ Foster said. “That makes a lot of difference.’’
Foster has won more than 100 games at Drummond as both boys and girls coach, although he’s turned the girls reins over to Samuel Hill.
“I’m always trying to think up stuff that will make us better,’’ Foster said. “I felt like I’ve been a coach since I was the third or fourth grade bringing the ball up the court. Some things are going right.’’
Foster would like to have more depth. He has eight in his rotation now, but would like to have nine.
“Right now, we just trying to do things right and trying to learn how to become a different team,’’ he said. “Everybody is buying into it. It makes a difference.’’