Jan. 24—ROFF — The Stonewall Longhorns passed two of their toughest tests of the season last weekend at the SRT Invitational in Roff and are now 20-0 on the season.
The Longhorns trailed by 10 early in the third quarter before using a relentless defense to turn the tide and rally past private school power Wesleyan Christian 62-40 in Saturday night's championship game.
Stonewall pushed past local rival Tupelo 59-43 in a physical game that didn't get out of hand until late in the SRT semifinals.
The Longhorns will enter the playoffs ranked No. 6 in Class A. Wesleyan Christian, ranked No. 12 in Class B, fell to 14-3.
There's still some regular season work to be done by the Longhorns. They'll be heavy favorites against remaining foes Butner, Macomb, and Konawa. But Stonewall makes a trip to Allen on Feb. 2 to face the Class A No. 10 Mustangs. Stonewall got the best of Allen last month in the finals of the Pontotoc Conference Tournament — the Mustangs' lone loss of the season — inside the friendly confines of the Murphy-Roberts Gymnasium. However, Allen — which has won 12 straight games since that setback — was without starter Garrett Nix, who seems to be playing his best basketball of the season while dealing with a nagging knee injury.
In other tournament action on Saturday, the Stonewall Lady Longhorns turned back host Roff 40-31 in the girls' championship contest, the Tupelo Tigers knocked off Wetumka 59-41 to capture third place, the host Roff boys won the consolation title with a 40-30 victory over Stringtown and the Tupelo girls defeated Maud 59-48 to win a consolation championship.
Stonewall 62, Wesleyan 40
Stonewall trailed 11-10 after quarter No. 1 and 26-21 at halftime. After falling behind by 10 early in the third period, the Longhorns used a 23-10 surge to carry a 44-36 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
Stonewall put the Mustangs away with an 18-4 volley to end the game.
"I was really proud of this group overcoming a tough shooting night in the first half," SHS boys head coach Wes Moreland said. "We had a tremendous second half on both sides of the floor and guarded them extremely well the entire night. It was a good win against a really good team."
Senor leader Ashton Bierce saved his best tournament game for last, erupting for a game-high 26 points. He finished a perfect 9-of-9 from the free-throw line, pulled down 10 rebounds, and had three steals.
Mika Matt followed with 19 points, including a pair of 3-point baskets, and also had seven steals.
Jamison Carrington and Taegus Pogue were next with six points apiece. Brody McCown rounded out the SHS scoring with five points.
Post-player Ty Cloud led Wesleyan Christian with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Trey White scored eight points for the Mustangs and Kyle Kellly chipped in seven. Cooper Holly hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored six points.
As a team, Stonewall made 21-of-26 free throws compared to a 4-for-4 showing by Wesleyan Christian.
Stonewall 59, Tupelo 43
The Tigers got the early upper hand, outscoring Stonewall 15-12 in the first quarter. Stonewall rallied to take a 27-23 lead at halftime and methodically pulled away in the second half. The Longhorns outscored Tupelo 32-20 over the final two frames.
"It was a really tough game, especially with Ashton picking up 3 fouls in the first four minutes," Moreland said. "Tupelo played extremely well the entire night. I was proud of our guys playing through the foul trouble and finding a way to win."
Mika Matt led the way for the Longhorns with a game-high 21 points. He finished 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. Jamison Carrington nearly registered a double-double for Stonewall with 16 points and nine rebounds. Bierce also hit double figures with 14 points.
Jonny Park led Tupelo with 14 points and eight rebounds before fouling out. Colton Bourland and Davin Weller scored seven points apiece for the Tigers. Cash Wafford hit a pair of 3-pointers for six points for Tupelo.
The Longhorns made 19-of-26 free throw attempts and Tupelo finished 5-of-9 from the line.
Tupelo 58, Wetumka 41
The Tigers — who improved to 12-8 on the year — shut out Wetumka 9-0 in the first quarter and coasted from there. Tupelo led 27-11 at halftime.
Cash Wafford led the THS offense with 19 points, including four 3-pointers. Gabe Story also hit double figures with 14 points. Davin Weller followed with eight points for the Tigers.
Braedin Mason paced the Chieftains with 13 points and Dario Silla hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored 10 points. Joseph Moore was next with eight points for Wetumka (12-8).
Roff 40, Stringtown 30
Maddux McCullar drained a trio of 3-pointers and scored 15 points to lead the hometown Tigers. Kaden Darnell just missed double figures with nine points and Ollie Gregory chipped in six for Roff (4-14).
"I am extremely proud of the tournament that these guys had. We have made some changes that have given our offense and defense a spark that we have desperately needed," said Roff boys coach Eric Hardison. "It was nice to see Maddux McCullar have a good shooting game. Kaden Darnell was solid again for us and our bench did a great job all week. I like what I see out of this group."
Blake Thompson led Stringtown (14-7) with 15 points, including three 3-point baskets and Trinder Gaylor also reached double figures with 10.
Stonewall 40, Roff 31
The Lady Longhorns ranked No. 16 in Class A, had their hands full with the upset-minded home team.
Stonewall led just 11-10 after the first quarter and 22-18 at halftime. The Lady Longhorns outscored Roff 12-6 in the third quarter to get a little breathing room at 34-24. Roff won the fourth period 7-6.
Roff Girls head coach Whitney Robertson said he was pleased with her team's tournament run.
"I am proud of the way these girls have played this week. They had a strong tournament and I am looking forward to seeing these girls get ready for the playoff push, she said.
Shelby Ensey led Roff with 11 points. Briana Bess just missed double figures with nine points and Sophie Elred chipped in five for the host Tigers (8-10).
Landre Dye and Lilly Wyche scored 12 points each to pace Stonewall, which improved to 16-4 on the year.