By Clay Horning
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — The Community Christian boys probably weren’t going to go unbeaten. So, if they had to lose a game, there was little shame in falling 69-57 to Plainview on Tuesday night at Royal Fieldhouse.
Not that they liked it.
“We should never give up 24 points in a first quarter,” CCS coach Culley Seymour said.
But that’s the way it began and it was the difference in the game. At their greatest depth, the Royals trailed 28-9 after a 3-pointer from Plainview’s Talor Stewart early in the second quarter.
Most of the rest of the game belonged to CCS, yet that only meant climbing within 51-47 in the closing moments of the third quarter.
Plainview (5-0) scored the game’s next six points and the Royals were never closer than seven after that.
“We lost the game in the first quarter,” Seymour said. “You can’t be down 16 and expect to beat a team like that.”
Part of it may have been circumstances. CCS (5-1) entered without a loss and having just swept the Big Eight Tournament at Maysville last week.
A real-life OSSAA hoops program for the first time, the Royals are trying to make hay in Class 2A. To that effect, they were very well aware that Plainview entered the gym a top-20 program in 64-program Class 3A. Early, the Royals may have given the Indians too much credit.
“They’re No. 18,” CCS senior guard Aaron Baker said. “They’re a big school … I wish we could have that first quarter over again.”
The opening 8 minutes weren’t a lot of fun, but the rest of the game was.
Baker, who combined for 64 points his last two outings at Maysville, came on to post 26, including 18 and five 3-pointers in the second half. And there were times it seemed like it might be enough to counter what Deric Shelton, who finished with 28, was doing for the Indians.
Shelton, a guard, hit 12 of 15 from the field, including a running 3-pointer to beat the first-quarter buzzer. Baker was 6 of 9 after the half with all the 3s.
“He’s athletic enough to get his shot off, but I’d like to see him go to the basket more,” Seymour said of his high-scoring senior guard, who at just 6-1 already has a couple dunks this season. “That would open up his outside game even more.”
His outside game may have opened some things up inside for Alex Borgerding, who added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Royals.
Afterward, Baker remained zeroed in on how it all started.
“We should have come out stronger. We just kind of came out scared,” he said. “We came back. We should have won.”
There will be other chances.
In a season in which everything is pretty new for the Royals, they have a long time (and a better schedule) to get things right.
“This is obviously more fun … We want to play good games like this,” Seymour said. “We really think we have a chance to do some things in the playoffs.”
Clay HorningFollow me @firstname.lastname@example.org
For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.