No. 8 Madill stings Byng boys at buzzer

Jan. 11—The Byng Pirates were literally moments away from securing arguably their biggest win yet under first-year head coach Jared Gambrel.

However, Madill and superstar Ethan Wilkerson spoiled those plans.

Wilkerson caught a pass at the top of the key and launched a 3-pointer at the buzzer that hit nothing but net to give the host Wildcats a dramatic 39-38 win over Byng inside the new Madill Event Center.

The Pirates have now lost four of their past five games to fall to 7-6 on the year, while Madill — ranked No. 8 in Class 4A — improved to 11-1. The Madill boys are coached by Jason Wilkerson, Ethan's father, and a former East Central University player.

Gambrel tried to remain positive after the heart-aching loss.

"I could not be more proud of our boys tonight. They battled one of the best teams in the state until the last second," he told The Ada News. "It's a very tough way to lose, but we've got to learn from it. We have to minimize mistakes and take a step forward each and every day. We will come back stronger."

The Byng Lady Pirates made sure there was no drama at the end of their game and steadily pulled away from Madill en route to a decisive 52-32 victory. It was Byng's first outing since competing in the rugged Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic.

"We defended really well tonight. On a night where we didn't shoot it particularly well, I was proud of the way we defended and rebounded," said Byng head coach Luke Clark. "Madill is a tough defensive team and I thought we executed when we needed to offensively and our defense carried us to a comfortable win."

The Lady Pirates improved to 7-6 on the season, while Madill — led by former Calvin coach Eric Holmes — dropped to 6-5.


Madill 39, Byng 38

Byng led 38-37 before Madill inbounded the ball with 3.1 seconds left. Wilkerson was left all alone at the top of the key and buried the clutch 3-pointer, dropped to his knees, and was swarmed by his teammates as the dejected Pirates walked away.

The Pirates had a number of opportunities to put the game away down the stretch.

Cooper McCage hit a giant 3-pointer in front of the Byng bench with 1:07 left and was fouled in the act. He missed the free throw but the triple had put Byng on top 37-36.

After Wilkerson missed two free shots on the other end, Malachi Schilreff was fouled and sent to the line for the Pirates. He sank the first try, but the second went in and out, leaving Byng ahead 38-36 with 38.1 ticks remaining.

Wilkerson missed a 3-pointer and Byng's big man Bo Boatwright secured the rebound. He was sent to the line with 21.4 seconds left but missed both free throws. Schilreff swooped in and nearly scooped up an offensive rebound, but the ball squirted to Madill's RJ Morris during a scrum.

Brylan James drove down the lane for Madill but missed the jumper and Morris was again at the right place at the right time to grab a long rebound.

Madill then called time out with 3.1 on the clock to set up the game-winning shot by Wilkerson, who led the Wildcats with 14 points. He had missed his first six 3-point attempts before hitting the 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Jackson Roberts was next for the Wildcats with nine points and James followed with seven.

Schilreff sank three 3-point baskets and led all scorers with 15 points. Cooper was next with six points after sinking two 3-pointers.

Bo Boatwright ended up with five points and 11 rebounds for the Pirates.

Byng went 6-of-11 from the free-throw line compared to a 10-of-12 showing for Madill.


Byng 52, Madill 32

The Lady Pirates started solid and built first-half leads of 15-9 and 29-17. Byng ended the game on a 15-7 run.

Cadence Carlos led the Byng offense with 15 points and Alona Cooper followed closely with 14. Neither shooter connected on a 3-point shot. Carlos added seven rebounds, three assists and three steals,

Blakely Miller hit Byng's lone basket from downtown and scored eight points for the Lady Pirates. Lorren Shaw was next with five.

Ireland Groeber led Madill with nine points and La'miyah Brown followed with eight. Luciana Douglas chipped in six for the home team.