It’s possible the Class 3A coaches who voted the Community Christian boys No. 2 entering the high school basketball season were not fully aware of the Royals’ graduation losses following last season.

It’s also possible CCS may play its way back into being a top-ranked team by the time the playoffs roll around.

Yet, what’s clear now, following a 78-36 loss to Class 4A No. 1 Heritage Hall Tuesday night on the Royals home floor is that coach Tim Price’s team remains a work in progress that will be finding its way well into the new year.

“We’re just unbelievably inexperienced right now,” Price said. “The other night, we had our opener against U.S. Grant. We played 10 kids that night, seven of them were playing in their first varsity games with minutes that mattered.”

Against the Chargers, in addition to his starting five, Price sent nine more players off his bench and into the game.

The contest began innocently enough, with both teams getting good looks from beyond the 3-point arc, yet none of the Royals’ attempts found their way through the rim and seemingly all of the Chargers’ did.

Heritage Hall scored the game’s first 13 points.

Opting to try to get the ball inside to Bai Jobe after the beyond-the-arc attempts fell off target only led to turnovers as the CCS post was swarmed every time he tried to receive a pass.

The Royals committed 16 giveaways, nine in the opening frame.

Heritage Hall led 23-2 after a quarter, 42-8 at the half and 65-11 after three quarters.

The Royals (0-2) got eight points from Josh Pantoja, a starter, and eight from Noah Robinson, one of the last players off Price’s bench. Cade Bond added seven.

“It’s going to take our Christmas break practices and maybe even into a few games in January before we figure out who our top seven- or eight-man rotation is,” Price said.

The Chargers (3-1) got 17 from Kyle McLaughlin, 13 and six steals and five assists from Ethan Franks and 10 and five rebounds from Sebastian Perry.

The Royals will add some quick experience at the end of the week, hosting their own tournament.

• Norman High girls 55, Mustang 47: The third-ranked Tigers entered Tuesday night’s contest at Mustang riding a 42-game winning streak that began very early in the 2019-20 season.

At the half, they trailed the fourth-ranked Broncos 24-17 and were still behind 36-33 entering the fourth quarter … which they wound up dominating.

Jordyn Rollins led NHS (2-0) with 15 points, including nine after the half. Jaki Rollins added 11, all in the second half, and Seleh Harmon finished with nine, all in the second half.

• CCS girls 46, Heritage Hall 36: Community Christian faced a tie game — 28-28 — entering the fourth quarter, but closed in style, claiming a double-digit victory over the Chargers (1-3).

The Royals (2-0) claimed a narrow lead just pas the halfway point of the final frame, and hit all their free throws down the stretch to put the game away.

CCS got 14 points from Landry Braziel, 11 from Sadie Thrailkill and eight from Presslee Hartsock.

• Mustang 80, Norman High boys 63: The Tigers fell to 0-3 against 10th ranked Mustang, which improved to 3-0.

Clay Horning

405 366-3526

Follow me @clayhorning

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