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By Glen Miller
With only two losses since the holiday break, Calumet High School’s girls basketball team has been one of the most consistent teams in Class A basketball, capping the regular season with a 58-44 win over Cyril.
However, the 14-point win proved to be a costly one.
Senior guard Micha Snyder, the team’s leading scorer, will miss the first two games of the playoffs after being ejected from the contest with the Pirates for fighting.
Snyder was removed from the game with 51.8 seconds left in the third period after throwing a forearm into the face of Cyril’s Kendall Jackson after Snyder was shoved in the back.
“She (Snyder) made a spin move and another Cyril girl tried to run in there and steal it and fouled her. Micha gets shoved in the back and she throws the forearm to the face. It was one of those spur of the moment things where she didn’t think,” said Calumet coach Tyler Snowden.
“It was a costly mistake for her to make at this juncture in the season and a big mistake for our whole team.”
The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association has a strict two-game suspension for a game ejection due to fighting. Snowden said the OSSAA has confirmed Snyder will have to sit out two games.
Calumet drew a bye in the first round of the district tourney being played at Arapaho, which means Snyder’s two-game suspension will not start until the district finals – which were set for Saturday.
The bye means Calumet will advance to the second round of the double-elimination Class A playoffs, though Snyder will have to miss one game in that round.
“Win or lose after Saturday, it gets even tougher. The games get harder and bigger and the pressure mounts, so winning that district and getting into the winners bracket is huge.
“I told her she just may have played her last game at Calumet. It’s going to be tough without her Saturday and even tougher with two games,” said Snowden.
Calumet did struggle in the fourth period without Snyder, getting its first basket with 3:20 left on a 3-point play from Rachal Littlebird. The senior forward scored the other CHS basket with 24.3 seconds left as the Chieftains went 2-of-6 from the floor. Snowden’s team turned the ball over six times in the final eight minutes and had seven empty possessions.
Calumet’s other points came at the free-throw line on 9-of-17 shooting. Littlebird went 3-of-5 from the stripe, while Kaley Spoon went 3-of-6. Taylor Epperson, Katie Percival and Ashli Richardson added a free throw each.
Calumet led 16-10 after one period with Snyder logging 10 of those points. She added six more in the second period to spur a 12-10 scoring edge as the Chieftains led 28-20 at the half.
Snyder had a 3-pointer and five points in the third stanza before leaving as Calumet went on a 17-9 run to take a 45-29 lead.
Calumet was led in scoring by Snyder’s 21 points, followed by Littlebird with 13 and seven from Epperson. Percival and Richardson chipped in six each, followed by Spoon with three and Allison Eaton with two.
Cyril 3-point plays down Calumet boys
CALUMET – With Cyril bringing in its two twin towers, both standing 6-foot-5 and taller, Calumet High School boys coach Eric Carr was concerned about matching up in the paint.
As it turned out, it was the 3-point plays the Chieftains should have been concerned with.
Cyril swished seven 3-pointers, while adding two more 3-point plays at the free-throw line to pace a 60-47 win over the Chieftains in the regular season finale for both squads.
Calumet had its two-game win streak snapped to close with a 14-11 overall record.
Cyril’s 6-6 post player Tyler Stafford netted the first long distance basket early in the first period, one of three in the frame for the Pirates. Stafford added a basket with 4:44 left to break an 8-all tie.
Cyril used that 3-point play to reel off a 9-2 run and grab a 17-10 lead. Calumet rebounded with back-to-back 3-pointers from Drew Walker and Tanner Hood before Walker scored a basket with under a minute to play to close the margin to 19-18 after one.
The teams traded 3-point barbs in the second period, with Walker hitting for CHS, yet neither shot the ball well. Calumet was 3-of-7 from the floor with five turnovers and seven empty possessions (no points).
Cyril was 4-of-11 from the floor and took a 28-25 lead into the half.
Calumet scored a fast-break layup by Walker to open the third period, closing the gap to 28-27, before the CHS scoring went stone cold. Back-to-back turnovers would lead to points for the Pirates, who ripped off 10 straight – including a pair of 3-pointers.
Calumet went over four minutes without scoring before Garrett Gathers hit two free throws with 3:35 left, cutting the deficit to 38-29. The Chieftains did not score again, however, until 1:05 left on a Walker 3-pointer, and ended the period with six turnovers and 10 empty possessions.
Cyril, meanwhile, emerged from the third period leading 46-32 after hitting a trio of 3-pointers and one conventional 3-point play.
Calumet attempted a comeback in the fourth period, cutting the deficit to 10 points on a Walker 3-pointer (2:58). The senior guard logged a rare 4-point play with 1:50 left that made it a nine-point game at 54-45.
However, CHS would miss its last five shots of the game and get only two Kyle Gilbert free throws. Cyril scored only two buckets in the quarter but converted 10-of-12 attempts from the charity stripe.
Calumet ended the game shooting 15-of-45 from the field for 33.3 percent, bolstered by a 7-of-20 effort (35 percent) from the 3-point arc.
The Chieftains led in rebounds (32-22), assists (20-10), steals (4-0) and bench points (10-0), but out-gunned 24-14 in the paint.
Walker led CHS in scoring with 24 points, two rebounds and a steal, while Stewart Paukei was slowed by fouls to eight points, eight boards and a dish-off.
Tyler Spoon followed with five points and five boards. Gathers closed with five points, two boards and a pick, while Hood had four rebounds and the trey.