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Boys high school basketball: Rondel Walker's 21 points pace Putnam West to upset of Putnam North

When Lenny Bert looked toward his bench, he noticed more players suited up.

The Putnam West boys basketball coach has been forced to tinker with his lineup this season because of numerous injuries to starters. Standout Rondel Walker, an Oklahoma State signee, has been the only starter healthy, with others like MJ Warrior, Malik Hearn and Boomer Barnes missing time because of injuries.

The Class 6A 18th-ranked Patriots aren’t fully healthy yet, but it didn’t matter Tuesday. Host Putnam West topped No. 5 Putnam North 59-53, avenging a loss against its district foe in December’s Joe Lawson Tournament in Norman. Walker scored 21 points, 19 of those coming in the first half, and the Patriots didn’t look back after garnering an early advantage.

“I don’t make excuses, but when you have all of those guys out, it’s tough to play,” Bert said. “It was a bunch of JV players and Rondel for the most part. We’re still finding chemistry.”

LaShawn McVay added 14 points while Daylon Andrews poured in 11 for Putnam West (4-8). Putnam North freshman Jeremiah Johnson led all scorers with 22 points. 

The Panthers (5-2) attempted to rally in the fourth quarter behind Johnson’s 10 points and Tobias Roland’s seven points, but six missed free throws haunted the comeback. 

Related Photos
Putnam City West's Rondel Walker shoots as Putnam City North's Jeremiah Johnson (22) and Kayhon Russell defend during the boys high school basketball game between Putnam City West and Putnam City North at Putnam City West High School in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020.  [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman]

Putnam City West's Rondel Walker shoots as Putnam City North's Jeremiah Johnson (22) and Kayhon Russell defend during the boys high school basketball game between Putnam City West and Putnam City North at Putnam City West High School in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The...

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-141b365d6f043f10c105a532f42c9b59.jpg" alt="Photo - Putnam City West's Rondel Walker shoots as Putnam City North's Jeremiah Johnson (22) and Kayhon Russell defend during the boys high school basketball game between Putnam City West and Putnam City North at Putnam City West High School in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] " title="Putnam City West's Rondel Walker shoots as Putnam City North's Jeremiah Johnson (22) and Kayhon Russell defend during the boys high school basketball game between Putnam City West and Putnam City North at Putnam City West High School in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Putnam City West's Rondel Walker shoots as Putnam City North's Jeremiah Johnson (22) and Kayhon Russell defend during the boys high school basketball game between Putnam City West and Putnam City North at Putnam City West High School in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2020. [Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Cameron Jourdan

Cameron Jourdan joined The Oklahoman in March 2019 to cover high school sports. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in May 2018. He had an internship with The Oklahoman and Stillwater News Press. During his time at OSU, Cameron served in a... Read more ›

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