The Sandites swept three games at Memorial’s Veterans Arena Invitational

Mike Moguin for Sand Springs Leader

Each of the Sand Springs basketball teams is gaining momentum over the holiday break.

The Sandites boys team hit on all cylinders as they dominated the battle with a 104-36 rout of KIPP Tulsa on Saturday afternoon at the eighth annual Veterans Arena Invitational hosted by Memorial High School.

Sand Springs, Memorial and Collinsville finished 3-0 in the event to share the title. Sand Springs and Memorial were co-champions last year.

Deek Thompson led the Sandites (4-3) with a career-high 30 points. Fellow juniors Cason Evans and Khalil Allen were behind him with 17 and 10 points, respectively.

“I thought Deek Thompson really came out aggressive today,” Sand Springs coach Eric Savage said. “And not just shooting the ball, but defensively he was active in catching loose balls. He’s a dynamic goalscorer and fun to watch when he gets going.”

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Thirteen of the 15 players on the Sand Springs roster scored points.

“It’s worked out that we’ve been able to play some younger guys and some players that hadn’t been able to get into the rotation in some tighter games earlier in the year, and it’s just valuable experience for them for some of the they will be able to score their first varsity points this weekend,” Savage said.

Waylon Jones led KIPP with 12 points, all of which came on four tricks in the second half.

The Sandites spent most of the clock controlling the game, causing and scoring turnovers, controlling the boards and taking advantage of the Bulldogs’ errant passing.

“We talked about coming in today it’s not up to par (and) it comes with a lot of energy,” Savage said. “We started with an aggressive approach on defense (and) we also talked about wanting to run the floor when we get the rebound and sprint the lanes looking for your open teammate. Today I am really proud of their selflessness.”

Thompson got the first basket on a 3-pointer and KIPP drew within a point on the next possession by Dan Wallace. That made it 3-2 and would be as close as the Bulldogs would get. The Sandites scored the next 19 points before KIPP got another basket and led 29-9 by the end of the first quarter.

Thompson had 26 points by halftime, including four 3-pointers, as the Sandites led 51-15. He would score on a fast break, an offensive board, another trey and a dunk on another fast break in the third period to extend the lead to 76-22.

By then, the Sand Springs starters had been relieved by the bench, which continued the onslaught.

Alijah Roper and Allen also hit triples in the third for the Sandites.

Savage said he was pleased with his team’s performance in the tournament, which the Sandites opened Thursday with a 69-47 win over the OKC Storm. On Friday, Thompson scored 23 and Blake Johnson added 16 in a 98-47 win over Crossover Prep.

“I thought we came out on Thursday and established a good identity for how we wanted to play this weekend and were pretty consistent the rest of the way,” he said.

Sand Springs, which has won four straight after an 0-3 start, doesn’t play again until Jan. 4.

“I like where we’re at,” Savage said. “I like the composition of our team. We have new faces this year. This first month of the season has been about getting used to each other and trying to figure out what each player does best. It’s a permanent job.”

Girls Basketball: The girls team (5-2) won the finale of its 2023 portion of the schedule 68-51 over Putnam City on Dec. 12.

SAND SPRINGS 104, KIPP 36

Sand Springs 29 22 30 23 – 104

Sand Springs — Thompson 30, Evans 17, Allen 10, Johnson 8, Kelly 7, Fueszko 7, Young 7. Roper 6, Bechan 4, Shoup 2, C. Smith 2, T. Smith 2, Ketcher 2.

KIPP – Jones 12, Walker 6, Reynolds 5, Wallace 4, Taylor 4, Becknell 4, Payne 1.

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