BOYS BASKETBALL: Claremore dominates Miami in NEO Tournament opener

Jan. 19—Editor's note: The Claremore girls won their first-round game 55-45 over Okmulgee, but information and stats were not provided before press time.

The Claremore boys' basketball team secured a decisive 60-39 victory over Miami in the NEO Tournament "Norse" bracket Thursday, showcasing a collective effort that extended beyond the prolific scoring of senior standout Will Jones.

Jones set the tone early, delivering a first-quarter performance of 10 points, including four field goals and two successful free throws. He continued his scoring spree in the second period, contributing an additional seven points to conclude the first half with 17 points.

However, Jones managed only two points in the second half, concluding the game with a total of 19 points.

Although Jones took the spotlight in the opening half, his teammates stepped up magnificently in the latter periods.

Tytus Eubanks emerged as a crucial contributor, scoring all nine of his points in the second half — five in the third quarter and four in the fourth. Michael Tarver also made a significant impact in the final period, tallying all seven of his points as the Zebras outscored the Wardogs 19-11 in the fourth quarter.

Despite a low-scoring third quarter where the teams combined for only 18 points, Claremore had established a substantial lead, minimizing the impact of the slower period. The Zebras' balanced offensive attack and stout defense proved too much for Miami to overcome.

The Wardogs faced challenges against Claremore's defensive prowess, with leading scorer Waike Roblyer managing only 10 points — six of those coming in the first quarter. No other Wardog player scored more than three points in any quarter.

With this commanding victory, the Zebras improved their overall record to 8-5 and advanced to face Class 2A No. 6 Fairland in the semifinals in a game that started well after press time.