The Cowley College men’s basketball team opened the season with a pair of dominating wins Friday and Saturday at the Cowley Classic at W.S. Scott Auditorium.
The Tigers opened with a 113-84 win Friday against Iowa Lakes before defeating the Southwestern College JV 122-47 on Saturday.
Cowley coach Tommy DeSalme moved into a tie for first place on the career wins list with 191. Dan Stark (191-143), who won his games while coaching Cowley between 1923 and 1943, has nearly an identical record at Cowley as DeSalme (191-139).
“Our pace of play really tired out both teams,” DeSalme said. “Once we get up on teams, we have just got to keep playing the same way and don’t do any scoreboard watching.”
After growing up shooting baskets in the gym where his father, Todd, has served as the women’s head coach for the past 16 seasons, Arkansas City High School standout Cevin Clark made his Tigers debut and did not disappoint as he buried a 3-pointer on Cowley’s first possession of the game. Clark finished with a team-high 19 points on 5-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc.
“He has probably taken more shots in this gym than any other player and for him to make his first shot in a Tiger uniform is pretty cool,” DeSalme said.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Clark and freshman Shemarri Allen increased the lead to 61-50 early in the second half. A trey by freshman Mike’l Henderson capped a 21-1 run and pushed the lead to 76-51 with 12:15 remaining.
Allen finished with 18 points, five steals and four rebounds in his Tigers debut. Freshman Dalen Ridgnal finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds in 19 minutes of action.
The Tigers forced Iowa Lakes into 34 turnovers and outscored the Lakers 42-12 on points off turnovers.
Kevin Cook led the Lakers with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
The Tigers scored the first 24 points Saturday against the Southwestern College JV and led 72-20 at the end of the first half.
Seven players finished in double figures for the Tigers, who made 16 3-pointers.
Clark hit four more treys and finished with 12 points, while Ridgnal produced his second straight double-double with 20 points and 14 rebounds.
“To record back-to-back double-doubles in his first two games is pretty special,” DeSalme said.
Allen also had another strong game, finishing with 17 points, seven assists and four steals on 8-of-9 shooting.
“Shemarri is a special dude. He could start at any of the five spots for us,” DeSalme said. “He doesn’t mind what his role is, he will fill up a stat sheet.”
Sophomore Isaac Nwosu added 16 points, while fellow sophomore Malik Coats scored 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds in the Classic.
“I am proud of Malik; he played really well both games,” DeSalme said.
Cowley turned 41 turnovers into 55 points and hit 29 3-pointers in the two games.
“We are going to make games as fast and furious as possible,” DeSalme said.
Jake Haertl led the Moundbuilders JV with a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double.
The Tigers remain home to face NOC-Tonkawa at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday Former Cowley assistant coach Donnie Jackson has his team at 2-0 on the season.
“We will need to step up on Wednesday night because Donnie has got a really good team,” DeSalme said. “I hope we have a good crowd and get the pace the way we want it.”