BOKCHITO – The Achille Eagles are taking a detour through the Class A basketball playoffs.
Achille lost to Wright City 59-42 on Thursday despite a combined 35 points from Austin Beene (18) and Bradley McKnight (17).
But Coach Nick Beene saw a silver lining in the loss, as their plan to shut down Wright City’s high-scoring C.J. Nolen worked when he was held to four points.
“We executed our game plan perfectly tonight. We wanted to take No. 23 (Nolen) out of the game and we held him to four points,” said Beene. “But now we’ve got to be ready to go. Our season is on the line now.”
Any loss by the Eagles from this point forward, and the season is over. It starts at 8 p.m. tonight in Kiowa (70 miles north of Achille on US 69) where the Eagles will take on Smithville. A victory would put the Eagles in a 3 p.m. Saturday game also to be held in Kiowa.
McKnight hit a pair of early threes but a buzzer-beater by Laiton Hill of the LumberJax gave them a 10-8 lead after one quarter. Achille was down 24-19 by halftime.
Wright City took to the skies in the third quarter to extend a 10-point lead despite seven points in the second and third frames from Beene. The Eagles folded in the fourth as the Jax racked up steals and breakaway shots to outscore Achille 22-14 in the fourth quarter.
Jason Todd scored three for Achille, Cody Forest had a pair and Lane Manry was held to two.
Wright City moves on to play Boswell at 8 p.m. Saturday in a game hosted at Kiowa. The Scorpions reached the Region A final (and thus next week’s area round) by virtue of a 56-51 win over Kiowa on Thursday.
In the girls’ regional semifinal held at Rock Creek Gym, the Turner Lady Falcons survived a late comeback by Wright City to take a 53-49 win over the LadyJax.
Turner led 42-26 at the start of the fourth but Wright City outscored the Lady Falcons 23-11 in the final frame before coming up short.
Miranda Schaefer, the sister of Southeastern basketball player Haley Schaefer, led the Wright City effort with 20 points. For the sake of Oklahoma basketball trivia, it should be noted that the sisters were competing in two separate games at two levels of basketball in the same county on the same night.