By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
Northern Oklahoma College Enid’s men, playing with a heavy heart, came back from a 14-point deficit in the last seven minutes to beat archrival NOC Tonkawa 66-63 at the Mabee Center Thursday.
The win gave NOC Enid a sweep on the night as the No. 6 Lady Jets (21-2, 12-0) held on to defeat the Lady Mavericks, 75-69 for their 12th straight win.
The Jets had spent most of the day in Oklahoma City at the funeral of Monica Antionette Dudley, the sister of teammate Kyndall Dudley. Monica Dudley was killed in a traffic accident on Oklahoma 33 last week.
“It was a tough day,’’ said Jets coach Greg Shamburg. “We came out with no energy. I didn’t know if we would be able to play well with all the circumstances we had today. This certainly puts basketball in perspective.’’
Hans Thun had given the Mavericks a 58-44 lead with a three-pointer with 7:11 left. Some NOC Tonkawa fans had been shouting “You’re in our house.’’
That’s when Xavier McClish went to work. The sophomore had 19 of his game-high 22 points in the second half, including 11 in the last 6:51.
The Jets outscored the Mavericks 22-5 the rest of the game with NOC Tonkawa managing only two field goals and one free throw the rest of the way.
The win lifted the Jets to 17-6 overall and 9-3 in conference, setting up a showdown with first-place Eastern Monday. It was NOC Enid’s sixth straight win.
“Our guys ... figured a way to win the game,’’ Shamburg said. “It was fun watching them figure out a way to win ... this was a character win ... there’s no question about that.’’
NOC Enid answered Thun’s trey with a 14-0 run, capped by a McClish trey with 4:06 remaining. A Trey Cohee layup gave NOC Enid a 62-61 lead with 2:11 left.
Connor Brooks canned a shot from the corner to make it 64-63 with 59.3 seconds left and McClish iced the game by hitting two free throws with 27.3 seconds left. Alex Moore missed a three at the buzzer which would have sent the game into overtime.
“How good was Xavier the last five minutes,’’ Shamburg said. “He was a big, big time player tonight. There’s no doubt about that.’’
McClish said the funeral did throw off the Jets’ early.
“We just came out slow, but we realized we had to step it up,’’ McClish said. “We all clicked together and just got going and finally took over the game.’’
Cohee (12) and Jeremy Espinoza (10) joined McClish in double figures, NOC Tonkawa (6-6 conference) was led by Thun with 17 points, Damion Hooks with 16 and Moore with 14.
NOC ENID 75, NOC TONKAWA 69 (W)
What McClish did for the men, Marisha Wallace did for the women.
Wallace, in foul trouble most of the first half, scored 24 of her game-high 28 points after intermission. She was eight-of-nine from the field as she was almost unstoppable going to the basket.
“Marisha played six minutes in the first half and 16 in the second, that’s a big difference,’’ said NOC Enid coach Scott Morris. “You have to give her a lot of credit.’’
The Lady Jets felt the loss of point guard Bates, who missed the game because of a concussion.
“We had to put a facelift on our offense and find another way to score. You could tell it was difficult for us to get in a rhythm.’’