FAST START: Riders roll past Westville, stay perfect

Byron Beers | Daily Press

Hulbert junior point guard scored 19 points Tuesday in the Riders' 66-35 road win over Westville.

Hulbert remained unbeaten Tuesday in its first game back from break, defeating Westville convincingly on the road, 66-35.

The Class 2A No. 14 Riders, who were without one of their top scorers in senior forward Gabe Lewis, received a game-high 23 points from senior Nolan Edmundson.

Hulbert, which closed the 2020 portion of its schedule with a 45-39 win over then-13th ranked Keys in Park Hill on Dec. 17, is 4-0 on the season under head coach Jordan Hill. The Riders opened the season with back-to-back over Porter (71-33) and Vian (47-39).

Hill has an experienced group, which includes senior trio Ethan Chuculate, Lewis and Edmundson.

“We’re very experienced and we enjoy competing,” Hill said. “Our guys love playing together and we’re playing really well right now.”

In Tuesday’s contest, the Riders pulled away during the second quarter and took a 36-20 halftime lead. Edmundson sparked Hulbert, scoring 11 of his points in the quarter on four field goals and a pair of free throws. He also had one of Hulbert’s three 3-pointers in the second.

Junior point guard guard Aidan Sanchez followed Edmundson with 19 points and had seven field goals. Sanchez had eight of his points in the third quarter and 10 during the second half.

Chuculate, who is averaging a team-high 17.8 points, knocked down four 3-pointers, two during the fourth quarter, and finished with 16 points.

The Riders connected on nine 3-pointers and also received five points from Aidan Carey. Carey and Adam Hinkle both made one 3.

Hulbert is trying to get into a tournament on Thursday. The Riders will return home for three straight games next week when it hosts Oktaha (Jan. 12), Porter (Jan. 14) and Central Sallisaw (Jan. 15).

Hulbert has had its battle with cancellations due to COVID-19. The Riders missed their original season opener against Okay, two games at the Armstrong Bank Porum Invitational Tournament, and home game against Webbers Falls.

“We’ve got to keep rolling,” Hill said. “With our cancellations and things, I just hope it doesn’t affect us. Our mentality has been good and we’ve grown as individuals. Hopefully we can just keep working hard and go into each game like it’s our last. That’s what we try to preach, that we’re not guaranteed a next game. We’ve had five games canceled, and if we don’t get a tournament this week that’ll be eight games.”

Lady Riders drop fourth straight to start season: The Hulbert girls suffered their four consecutive loss Tuesday in a 49-33 setback at Westville.

Hulbert, under first-year head coach Joseph McClure, also has losses to Canadian at the Porum Invitational, 3A No. 11 Keys and Vian.

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