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Broken Arrow Express

Tiger Basketball Finishes Best Season Ever

GTR Sports Writer

REGIONAL WINNERS: Broken Arrow boys celebrate winning the regional tournament in late February. 

Courtesy B.A. Athletic Dept.

The Broken Arrow boys’ basketball team didn’t win state liked it hoped, but the Tigers had one of its best seasons on the boys’ court with a fine display of talent.

The Tigers, ranked No. 1 most of the season, compiled their best record in school history with a 25-3 finish, making it as far as the Class 6A state semifinals. They consisted of a lineup made up of leading scorer Caleb Huffman, shot-blocker Braden Boyer, Major Smith, Josh Robinson, a move-in from Texas, and Camryn Dennis.

“I think the thing that I will remember the most is that this group, with all the records and different things they won, is they had fun playing,” Broken Arrow coach Beau Wallace says. “This group, more than any other group, was just kind of a gamer. Sometimes, practices weren’t always great like I wanted, but the team was competitive. When the lights came on, they were ready to go.

“Sometimes, you get teams that are super competitive in practice and the lights come on and people shy away. But not this group,” Wallace says.

“Then there is the relationship with the players that we have built. This is my fifth year and most of these kids that are seniors were part of the first group we had as eighth graders when I first got here. They have been up through the ranks and have earned their keeps,” Wallace says.  

There were memorable games such as a domination of Union, a game in which the Tigers won 68-55 at midseason.

“The Union game was definitely very memorable. Anytime you beat your rival in convincing fashion, everything seems to rub off,” Wallace says.

But there were many games in which different people stepped up, he says.

“There would be a game where Josh (Robinson) has 30 and another where Huff (Caleb Huffman) has 29 and Cam (Camryn Dennis) has 27,” Wallace adds.  

There was also an intense battle against Putnam City West in the playoffs and a comeback in the season opener against Jenks.

 “The PC West game was a game that I won’t forget because they challenged us and shot the ball really well,” Wallace says. The Tigers won that game 75-67.

“Against Edmond Memorial (in the state first round), obviously, Huff hit the game-winner (for a 48-46 win),” Wallace says. “In the Jenks game, first game of the season, we’re down 14 or 15 points and not playing very well, and we sub in a couple of guys who did not get to play much through the whole season but made some plays.”

Broken Arrow would rally to beat Jenks, 63-60, in overtime.

And then there was the game that brought an early curtain down on the season, a 59-54 loss at the hands of eventual runner-up Edmond Santa Fe.

“Obviously, they’re a good team and they zoned us quite a bit,” Wallace says. “We hadn’t seen them play much zone in some of the films we watched. We didn’t get it going enough, and I thought there was a crucial play that we took the lead and had a chance to push it out a little bit more. Braden was wide open underneath, and we weren’t able to come off with the ball. We got a five-second violation, which obviously as a coach, you never think that should have happened, but it is what it is. There were some breaks that didn’t go our way, and we didn’t knock down free throws. I thought our kids played hard, I thought we competed, the ball just did not go in the hole like it had been all season.”

Four starters will be lost to graduation headed into next season. Braden Boyer has signed to play college basketball at Arkansas-Ft. Smith. The others are still deciding.
Camryn Dennis, a junior soon-to-be senior, will be the only returning starter. There are others with experience.

“Camryn is going to be the leader,” Wallace says. “He’s going to be the one we run a lot of stuff through. He’s probably going to take more shots than anybody else, and we’ll depend on him to have the leaps. Logan Dolan (also a junior soon-to-be senior) has got to step up, he’s got to be able to make shots and handle the ball and do a lot of things for us, and he played a lot for us this year. But he’s going to be that kid that we lean onto some. I think Ryan Lofton, who got a little bit of playing time this year, is a big kid inside who we expect to get better. Then we have a freshman Tyler Pinder (soon-to-be sophomore) that we’re expecting a lot of good things from. He’s a heck of a talent. Some guys will have to be baptized by fire.”

Updated 04-27-2018

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