The annual Skiatook Invitational Tournament took place from January 9 through January 11, and despite some snowy weather blowing in over the weekend, the Bulldogs played Thursday, Friday, and Saturday against some elite opponents.

While Skiatook did not win a game, the Bulldogs still had an opportunity to grow closer as teammates and players.

The first-round game pitted the Bulldogs up against Edmond North on Thursday, which turned into a 74-59 loss despite lots of effort from Skiatook. Still, this was no reason for Skiatook to hang its head, seeing as Edmond North is ranked #11 in 6A and were 8-3 entering the game.

In the second round, the Bulldogs faced East Central (Class 5A #6, 7-3), and lost 74-60, but they showed a lot of fight against a Top-10 team. Skiatook came out the gate hot, leading 15-8 after the first quarter, but East Central bounced back in the second quarter, outscoring Skiatook 29-16, and maintained a double-digit lead through the second half.

One strong point against East Central was the way the Bulldogs moved the ball and set up shots for teammates. They tallied 18 assists, as compared to only 6 from East Central.

Jayden Garner led the Bulldogs with a 22-point, 10-rebound double-double against the Cardinals, while Kolby Pirtle added 13 points and 9 boards.

In the final round of the tournament, the Bulldogs matched up against another ranked 5A team in Bishop Kelley.

Against Kelley, the Comets jumped out to a huge first quarter lead after outscoring Skiatook 20-4. That said, the Bulldogs regrouped and outscored Kelley 30-21 over the next two quarters, but the Comets ended the game by outscoring Skiatook by 20 in the fourth, capturing a 65-38 loss.

While the tournament didn’t go the way Skiatook hoped, playing against three ranked teams in three days is a tough task for any team, and the Bulldogs will use this experience to improve as they move deeper into the season.

The Skiatook Lady Bulldogs competed against some high-quality opponents in the Skiatook Invitational, gaining lots of experience against some top-tier talent.

In a tournament focused on bringing large-schools to Skiatook, historically the Bulldogs teams have struggled to find much footing in their own tournament, and that continued in 2020.

To start, the Lady Bulldogs matched up against Bishop Kelley in the first round on Thursday, January 9. From the opening tip, Kelley managed to control the game. The Comets led 11-5 after the first quarter, and pushed the halftime score to 23-13.

The Lady Bulldogs regrouped at halftime and gained some ground in the second half, ending the game on a high-note with a 15-point fourth quarter, but still Kelley pulled secured a 45-36 victory.

Against Kelley, Martina Aeschliman led Skiatook with 14 points, while Rylee Anglen had 8 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals, and Taylor Hight added 13 rebounds to go with her 5 points.

The loss to Kelley pitted Skiatook up against Muskogee in the second round, and the Lady Bulldogs lost 44-27.

Against Muskogee, Skiatook only managed 7 points in the first half, but they rallied for 12 in the third quarter and another 8 in the fourth.

Taylor Hight led the team in scoring with 8 points while Rylee Anglen had 6 points and a team-leading 5 rebounds.

The third round game for Skiatook was canceled because of winter weather.

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E-mail lindsey.chastain @skiatookjournal.com

Follow me on Twitter @SkiatookJournal.

E-mail lindsey.chastain@skiatookjournal.com

Managing Editor

Lindsey is the managing editor for the Skiatook Journal. She holds an M.A in English from the University of Central Oklahoma. Prior to the start of her news career in 2011, Renuard was a professor of English at the University of Central Oklahoma.