Beggs takes county meeting at Preston

Beggs’ E.J. Smoot (3) and Preston’s Juan Zavala (12) battle for a rebound during Monday’s county battle at Preston. Smoot and the Demons earned their third-straight win over the arch rivals in the last three weeks with an 81-74 victory.
(Larry Owen, Times staff)


Times Sports Editor


PRESTON - Beggs and Preston completed their regular-season series on the basketball court Monday evening at the Preston high school gymnasium.

Monday's showdown was the third between the two Okmulgee County schools in the past 18 days.

The first meeting occurred at the 2018 Muscogee (Creek) Nation Okmulgee County Basketball Tournament January 18 and 20, respectively. The second meeting took place January 27 in Beggs.

Both county squads came out of the first battle with a win, as the Demons topped the Pirates 95-88 in the semifinal round of the 15th annual basketball tournament on January 18, while the Lady Pirates edged the Lady Demons 63-56 in the girls championship game two days later.

In the January 27 rematch, the Beggs cage squads earned a sweep of their county foes. The Lady Demons knocked off the Lady Pirates 50-33 in the opening contest, while the Demons made it two in a row against the Pirates with an 87-76 decision in the nightcap.

On Monday, the Beggs squads once again came away with a sweep of their rivals to take the season series for 2017-18.

The Lady Demons earned their second-straight win over the Lady Pirates in the opening contest, walking off the PHS gym floor with a 70-42 victory. In the nightcap, the Demons held off a late charge by the Pirates to sweep the season series with an 81-74 decision.

The Preston squads will return to action Thursday with a trip to Kiefer for a battle with the Kiefer Trojans and Lady Trojans.

Both county squads will take the court on Friday with home contests. Beggs will play host to another county foe, the Henryetta Golden Knights and Lady Knights, while Preston will welcome the Okemah Panthers and Lady Panthers to town.

The Demons and Lady Demons will also be at home Saturday, hosting the Sperry Pirates and Lady Pirates at 6:30 and 8 p.m., respectively.

In Monday's girls contest, the Lady Pirates came out of the opening frame with a narrow 17-14 margin.

Back-to-back 3-point baskets by Moiya Phillips put the Lady Demons on top 20-17 in the early minutes of the second period. A 3-pointer by Trinity Phillips pushed the Beggs lead to 23-17.

The Lady Demons finished the second quarter with a 15-13 advantage to go into halftime in front by eight, 38-30.

A 3-point play by Chiawna Johnson and Moyia Phillips' fourth 3-pointer of the contest kicked off the second-half scoring and extended the Beggs lead to 44-30. Preston went on a 5-4 run to cut the deficit to 48-35, then the Lady Pirates went cold from the field, allowing Beggs to close out the third quarter with a pair of baskets by Chiawna Johnson for a 52-35 lead with eight minutes remaining in regulation.

The Lady Demons put the finishing touches on the double-digit win in the final frame, outscoring the Lady Pirates 18-7 to walk away with the 70-42 victory and the season series.

Moyia Phillips led all scorers in the county showdown with a game-high 22 points, which included knocking down five of the Lady Demons' nine 3-pointers in the contest. Trinity Phillips was next in the scoring column for Beggs with 16, followed by Chiawna Johnson with 11. Cheyenne Johnson just missed double figures for the Lady Demons with eight. Chyniqua Johnson finished with six. Kaitlin Couch chipped in four points for Beggs. Myla Vaden recorded the final points for the Lady Demons in the contest with a 3-point basket in the final minutes of regulation.

Aiyonna Tecumseh was the leading scorer for the host Lady Pirates, finishing with a team-best 14 points. Samantha Hack was next for Preston with eight, followed by Aaliyah Harrison with five. Kaelynn Roberts, Ahmiah Tiger, and Makayla Scott each finished with four points in the loss. Abbie Long pitched in two points, while Marian Lewis sank a free throw in the second quarter to complete the Preston scoring.

In the boys contest on Monday, the Pirates took the opening period by a 20-14 margin. Beggs came out of the second stanza with a 20-9 advantage for a 34-29 lead at the halftime break.

The Demons got a 3-pointer from E.J. Smoot and back-to-back baskets by Ege DeBock and Kendyll Daniels to spark the Demons' 7-0 run to begin the second quarter. DeBock's thunderous 2-handed slam dunk made it a 23-20 Beggs lead.

The Pirates went on a 5-0 run to regain the lead at 25-23. Beggs closed out the first half with a 9-4 run for the 5-point advantage at the intermission.

The Demons took the back-and-forth third quarter by a 22-16 margin to extend their lead to 11 (56-45) with eight minutes left in regulation.

Beggs pushed its lead to 15 (64-49) with an 8-4 run to begin the final period.

Preston used a 16-4 run to cut the deficit to three, 68-65, with 2:37 left in regulation.

That was as close as the host Pirates were able to get, as the Demons thwarted any comeback attempt by taking the final 2:37 by a 13-9 margin to complete the season series sweep with the 81-74 decision.

Just like in the previous two meetings, E.J. Smoot (Beggs) and C.J. Cochran (Preston) were the top scorers for their respective teams in Monday's contest.

Smoot led the Demons with 19, while Cochran was two points better than his counterpart, finishing with a game-high 21.

Smoot was joined in double figures by Shaidan Jordan with 12, Stacy Phillips 11, and Dusty Pendergrass and Jaidan Grayson 10 each.

Preston's other double-digit scorers Monday were Juan Zavala and Turner Howk with 13 apiece, Billy Hudson 12, and J. Scot Fife 10.

Other Beggs scorers in the county contest were DeBock and Mateo Sanders with six each, Chandler Stanton four, Daniels two, and Amos Gaines one.

Other scorers for Preston in the showdown were Jarron Williams with three and Jarvis Demery with two.


Girls Game

Beggs 70, Preston 42

Beggs   - 14 - 24 - 14 - 18 (70)

Preston - 17 - 13 -   5 -   7 (42)

Beggs Scoring: Moyia Phillips 22, Trinity Phillips 16, Chiawna Johnson 11, Cheyenne Johnson 8, Chyniqua Johnson 6, Kaitlin Couch 4, Myla Vaden 3.

Preston Scoring: Aiyonna Tecumseh 14, Samantha Hack 8, Aaliyah Harrison 5, Kaelynn Roberts 4, Ahmiah Tiger 4, Makayla Scott 4, Abbie Long 2, Marian Lewis 1.

Free Throws: Beggs 13-21; Preston 8-16.

Three Pointers: Beggs 9; Preston 2.


Boys Game

Beggs 81, Preston 74

Beggs   - 14 - 20 - 22 - 25 (81)

Preston - 20 -   9 - 16 - 29 (74)

Beggs Scoring: E.J. Smoot 19, Shaidan Jordan 12, Stacy Phillips 11, Dusty Pendergrass 10, Jaidan Grayson 10, Ege DeBock 6, Mateo Sanders 6, Chandler Stanton 4, Kendyll Daniels 2, Amos Gaines 1.

Preston Scoring: C.J. Cochran 21, Juan Zavala 13, Turner Howk 13, Billy Hudson 12, J. Scot Fife 10, Jarron Williams 3, Jarvis Demery 2.

Free Throws: Beggs 17-20; Preston 19-30.

Three Pointers: Beggs 6; Preston 5.

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