Cortes goes off for 37 points in KHS win over Weatherford
Every now and then, there’s a kind of basketball performance that has people buzzing for hours - even days - after a game.
Bijan Cortes put on one such a show last Friday night.
With at least two college coaches in attendance, the Kingfisher guard lit up the scoreboard for 37 points as Kingfi sher downed Weatherford 84-47 at the APB.
“He was really impressive,” KHS head coach Jared Reese said of Cortes, who went 13 of 15 from the field and didn’t touch the court in the fourth quarter.
“To get 37 points in three quarters against a pretty good team and still be extremely unselfish made it a great game for him.”
Cortes was one of three Jackets who reached double figures in scoring as Weatherford hung tough for most of the fi rst half before fi zzling out.
The Eagles were playing their first game of the season as their football team reached the Class 4A state championship game the week before.
But instead of coming out flat, they came out red-hot with four fi rst-quarter treys that allowed them to lead for much of the fi rst eight minutes.
As good as Weatherford looked, Cortes looked better.
The junior made three 3-pointers in the fi rst quarter alone.
One came with about 1:00 left to give KHS a 20-18 lead.
On the other end, he deflected a long 3-point attempt by Weatherford, an errant shot that fell into Matthew Stone’s hands.
Stone flipped the ball downcourt to a flashing Cortes for an apparent layup.
Cortes was undercut on the play, but still managed to get a shot off while falling onto his back.
His shot went in and so did the ensuing free throw for a three-point play.
Such was the night for Cortes.
Kingfisher closed the quarter on a 9-0 run.
Cortes then commenced to scoring 14 of Kingfi sher’s 18 second-quarter points as the Jackets extended their lead to 13 points.
Cortes had 27 points by the break.
After giving up 31 points in the first half, Kingfi sher’s defense got stingier in the second.
The Jackets went on a 28-5 run in the third quarter and allowed 16 total points in the second half.
“It was a combination of better effort on our part and fatigue on their part,” Reese said. “But our defense was much better in the second half.”
While the defense stiffened, Cortes, Stone and Jarret Birdwell took over on the offensive end.
Stone scored 13 points in the quarter and also sat during the fourth. He still scored 21 points while grabbing six rebounds and dishing out four assists.
One of those assists was a long bounce pass to Cortes, who caught it one-handed in stride and threw down a dunk to close his night.
Cortes missed just three shots all night: One two-pointer, one trey and one free throw.
He went 5 of 6 from 3-point range and 6 of 7 from the foul line. He also led the team with seven rebounds and added three assists.
Birdwell, meanwhile, had his best all-around game.
The junior forward had an early dunk of his own, part of a six-point third quarter.
He added five in the decisive third and fi nished with 13 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Maverick Ridenour tossed in nine points for the Jackets.
Overall, KHS shot 59.3 percent, including 72.7 percent (24 for 33) from inside the arc. KHS outscored Weatherford 40-14 in the paint.
After the hot start, Weatherford was limited to 35 percent shooting.
The Eagles were led by Keenan Musick and B.J. Ransome, who scored 12 points apiece. The duo combined to score just three points in the second half.
Kingfi sher improved to 3-0 with the victory.
Coaches from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas-San Antonio were among those in the crowd.
Cortes already owned an offer from OU. After the game, UTSA extended an offer as well, Cortes announced on Twitter later that night.