El Reno boys set for tough January run

Mike Jones has the ball stripped in EHS’ setback to Noble. (Photo by Glen Miller)

By Glen Miller

While teams around the state have been using the holiday break to overhaul their attacks, El Reno High School’s boys basketball team needs only to work on smoothing out some nagging kinks.

The Indians are 4-1 at the break and ranked No.11 in the latest Class 5A poll.

El Reno holds a 2-1 record in the Suburban Conference standings, with its lone blemish being an overtime loss to No.14 Noble. That loss was hampered by a poor shooting percentage, which went against the trend of the other four games.

Justin Brown shoots a layup in the win over Deer Creek. (Photo by Glen Miller)

At the break, El Reno holds a 46.6 percent shooting effort from the floor (102-of-219), which includes a 21-of-71 effort from the 3-point arc for 29.6 percent – which is an area EHS will need to improve.

Ten players have taken 3-point shots for El Reno, however, only five of those have been successful. Justin Harris leads the way with a 14-of-34 effort for 41.2 percent, followed by Kasey Gill’s 4-of-12 mark for 33.3 percent.

After the pair, El Reno drops off to single makes from the perimeter by Devon Wells, Bailey Denny and Sage Lamebull out of a combined 17 attempts.

El Reno will need the perimeter game clicking to counteract opponents looking to slow down EHS’ 2-point attack. El Reno has made 81-of-148 attempts from inside the arc for 54.7 percent.

Michael Jones leads El Reno in scoring with 74 points on 31-of-67 shooting (46.3 percent). Justin Brown is close behind with 66 points on 29-of-39 shooting (74.4 percent), with both players shooting only one 3-point attempt each.

Harris is third in scoring with 59 points, though 42 of those have come from the perimeter. He is 6-of-13 from 2-point range (46 percent) and 20-of-47 overall for 42.6 percent.

Bryon Elledge

What has aided El Reno over the first five games has been the supporting cast to its top three scorers. Six other players have scored seven or more points, led by Wells with 17 points and 16 each from Denny and Gill.

Josh Bushyhead has scored nine points off the bench, while Lamebull has eight and Byron Elledge with seven.

El Reno has 272 total points for an average of 54.4 points per game.

The Indians free throw shooting has been a nagging thorn in five games, with El Reno connecting on 47-of-77 attempts for 61 percent. Five of the nine players attempting free throws are shooting over 70 percent.

Denny is the top free throw shooter, percentage-wise, for those attempting five or more, making 5-of-6 for 83.3 percent. Close behind is Wells at 8-of-10 for 80 percent and Jones at 12-of-17 for 70.6 percent.

El Reno has been solid in rebounding with a 159-127 edge on opponents. Brown leads in overall rebounds with 36 (7.2 rpg), followed by Jones with 28 (5.6 rpg), 14 from Bushyhead and 13 from Denny.

Defensively, El Reno has held opponents to 233 total points for an average of 46.6 per game. Opposing teams are shooting 37.2 percent from the field and 31.1 percent from the 3-point arc.

El Reno will have little time to practice outside of the holiday break as the Indians have 12 games slated for the month of January, including three games each at both the Anadarko and Shawnee tournaments.

Head-to-head games are with Western Heights (twice), Shawnee, Carl Albert, Piedmont and Chickasha. Four of the 12 games slated will be at Jenks Simmons Field House.










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