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Persistence pays off as Roland boys survive Idabel to win Class 3A Area III regional

Defending 3A runner-up Idabel girls down Eufaula to advance to area title game

By George Mitchell

ROLAND - The Roland Rangers had a slow start for the second straight night.

However, the team kept taking shots, grabbing rebounds to find its groove, and eventually found a way to defeat Idabel, 53-47, at the Ranger Dome in the Class 3A Area III regional finals. 

The Rangers (23-2) won their eighth consecutive game and advanced to play at Friday's area title game in Ada for a berth in the 3A state tournament.

Idabel had a fast start and built an 8-1 lead with 5:12 left in the opening quarter. Roland stormed back and had a 14-2 run over the final four minutes of the quarter to take the lead for good.

Carson Wiggins scored six points, while Kyeree Hall and Davohn Hall had 3-pointers during the run.

“We’ll continue to work during practice on getting hot starts, so hopefully, that will happen for us soon,” Wiggins said. “Overall, we’re great friends and close on and off the court.

"We get along well, which has helped us stay focused in the games, and knowing that we can overcome those slow starts.”

Wiggins led again with 18 points and seven rebounds. Davohn Hall added 17 points, and Kyeree Hall tossed in 11. Peyton Whisenant pulled down seven rebounds for the Rangers, who finished with 26 for the game.

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However, Idabel wasn’t without a fight of its own and finished the half with a 9-0 run to erase a 10-point deficit, trailing 24-23 at the break.

“I thought we were pretty persistent and just kept at it,” said Roland coach Ed Lewis. “Idabel got it close, but these guys, Carson Wiggins and Davohn Hall, had nice games for us.

"Ashton Peters was great out there, taking a couple of charges that erased four points. He’s really good at doing that for us.”

Roland got into trouble in the first half and had three charges called, but they drew several block calls in the second half.

Both teams struggled at the free-throw line. Idabel shot 3-of-10 while Roland was 12-of-22 after a 4-of-10 start in the first half.

“Thank goodness they were having trouble, too. Then in the second half, we got the ones we needed, so it all worked out for us,” Lewis said.

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Both teams traded shots for the first 5:18 of the fourth quarter, but back-to-back 3-pointers from Idabel’s Cole Grant and Caordavious Hankins put the Warriors within three, 48-45, with 1:30 remaining in the game.

That would be as close as Idabel got as Roland closed out the game by going 4-of-4 from the line and a bucket from Wiggins.

Hankins led Idabel (17-8) with 15 points, while Matrail Lopez and Shane Threadgill had nine points each. Threadgill had five rebounds, while Markee Townsend had six of the team’s 20 rebounds.

Girls 3A Regional Championship

Idabel 67, Eufaula 42

The Lady Warriors did what they needed to do and picked up their 13th consecutive win in the Class 3A Area III regional finals.

Mercades Lopez finished with a game-high 23 points, six rebounds, and five steals for Idabel, which played for the 3A title last season. Teammate Mary Carden had 15 points, and five rebounds, while Damayn Hunt tossed in 12 points with six rebounds.

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The team out-rebounded Eufaula 27-14, and kept the Lady Ironheads from getting an offensive rebound until about midway through the third quarter. The Lady Warriors (24-1) also forced nine of Eufaula’s 15 turnovers.

Quintasia Johnson and Kylene Denton came off the bench to contribute, with Johnson picking up a couple of steals and Denton hitting two of the team’s three 3-pointers.

“That was one of the big things we talked about this week, everybody playing their role, and everybody has things they can contribute as individuals,” said Idabel coach Kayla Denton. “We came out and played confidently and together as a team. If we have confidence, we’re hard to beat.”

Eufaula (15-8) led early in the game, 4-2, finding Kambry Williams for a 3-pointer, but Idabel finished the quarter with a 14-5 run, with eight points from Lopez. Eufaula kept the game within seven points, but an Idabel 9-0 run in the second quarter pushed the game out of reach.

“In our last game, we really didn’t do a good job getting after the ball, so we went back to the basics,” Denton said. “The big thing was that we got to block out when we had the opportunities.”

Jordan McClish paced Eufaula with 10 points, and Madison Ballard came off the bench to add nine.