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By Glen Miller
CALUMET – Despite winning by 34 points, Calumet High School’s girls basketball team did the one thing an upper echelon program should not do in the middle of January – play down to its competition.
The Chieftains jumped back into the win column with a 67-33 blowout of Gracemont, but played sluggish for the final three periods with dashes of brilliance.
“We tend to do that a lot,” said Calumet coach Tyler Snowden when asked about playing down to the level of the competition.
“We had a great start but lost our intensity a little bit after the first quarter.”
The win lifted Calumet to 11-8 overall and 6-1 in the Washita Valley Conference standings.
Calumet was 7-of-17 shooting from inside the arc over the final three periods for 41 percent, while hitting 6-of-20 3-point attempts over the same period for 30 percent. The Chieftains logged 60 percent free throw shooting (12-of-20), while committing 22 turnovers.
Gracemont over the last three quarters shot 22.8 percent (8-of-35), while hitting 13-of-18 free throws (72 percent), but were hampered by 24 turnovers.
Calumet’s strong play was scattered over all four periods. Leading 11-4 in the first period, CHS’ defense forced seven turnovers in the final two minutes which led to a 10-0 run.
Six of those points were in the final minute on two baskets from Micha Snyder and one from Rachal Littlebird. All three were set up on turnovers from Gracemont, two on steals from Snyder.
Calumet led 21-4 after one period and increased the margin to 36-14 at the break thanks in part to 3-pointers from Snyder and Allison Eaton (4:48).
The Chieftains outscored the Lions 15-8 in the third period, but shot 3-of-11 from the field. Five of those points came at the line, four from Ashi Richardson and one from Taylor Epperson.
Calumet logged a 16-11 scoring edge in the fourth, the majority of those points from Eaton, who netted a pair of treys and a conventional 3-point play with 3:03 left.
The Chieftains were slowed in the frame by eight turnovers.
Eaton led Calumet in scoring with five 3-pointers and 18 points total. Snyder scored 15 points, six of those coming in the first period, while Richardson and Katie Percival followed with 10 points each.
Littlebird led those in single digits with eight points, while Kaley Spoon had three, Epperson with two and Brooklin Higdon with one.
Snyder and Percival led Calumet in rebounding with three each, followed by Littlebird and Epperson with two apiece. Eaton, Spoon and Richardson each had one.
Calumet logged 19 steals, led by Snyder’s five, four from Littlebird and three each from Percival, Richardson and Epperson.
Calumet boys complete sweep
CALUMET – A tried and true method to beating a zone defense is to attack the glass with quickness, get solid outside shooting, and use speed to create baskets in transition.
Calumet High School’s boys basketball team did all three in a 76-31 thumping of the Gracemont Lions.
The win lifted the Chieftains to 11-8 on the season after a 1-2 run in the recent Merritt tournament. Calumet improved to 6-1 in the Washita Valley Conference standings.
Gracemont played the first half in a 2-3 zone defense, with Calumet exploding early with two inside baskets from Stewart Paukei and a third from Kyle Gilbert.
Drew Walker’s 3-pointer with 5:08 left in the first period would kick-start a 13-point effort in the period from the senior guard. Walker buried two more treys as Calumet shot 75 percent from the arc in the period.
Calumet would add a pair of paint baskets from Walker and one each from Gilbert, Seth Garlett and Cameron Beard. The Chieftains got a free throw each from Gilbert and Paukei and two from Tyler Spoon as CHS led 29-5 going into the second period.
Tanner Hood netted a pair of 3-pointers to spearhead his eight points before halftime as Calumet went on a 21-7 run in the second period.
Six of the eight baskets by the Chieftains came inside the lane, with Paukei knocking down four of those buckets. Three of those six scoring possessions came in transition. Konnor Woolard added a steal and layup (5:41) and Gilbert skipped in a shot before the buzzer as CHS led 50-12 at the break.
Calumet would outscore the Lions 26-19 over the final two periods, getting six points from Dallas Hicks, five from Beard and four each from Garlett and Paukei.
Calumet ended the game shooting 52.6 percent from the field (30-of-57), which included an 8-of-18 (44.4 percent) effort from the 3-point line. The Chieftains led in rebounds (38-21), steals (11-0), points in the paint (16-6) and bench points by a 33-0 margin.
Paukei ended the game with 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting. He logged a double-double with 11 rebounds, six of those offensive, and grabbed two steals.
Walker added 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting, 4-of-5 from behind the arc, in addition to a rebound and two assists. Hood added 10 points, two assists and a steal.
Gilbert closed with eight points, five assists, two steals and a rebound. Beard added seven points and two caroms, followed by Garlett’s team-high 12 rebounds and six points.
Cody Jewel, Spoon and Wollard scored two points each and combined for seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.