Shoal River Middle School’s boys basketball team won the county championship Feb. 8 with a 52-36 win over Pryor.

SRMS completed an undefeated season, finishing with a perfect record of 16-0. The win gave the Mustangs their fifth championship in eight years, and first since the 2015-16 season.

The Mustangs won their opening-round matchup over Ruckel 37-21, setting up a finals showdown with Pryor. Shoal River won both previous meetings with Pryor, including a 39-36 victory in the regular season finale. Pryor defeated Bruner to advance to the finals.

The finals matchup was played at Shoal River, the top seed in the tournament. A strong shooting performance by Pryor, along with a number of turnovers committed by the Mustangs, gave Pryor a 20-17 lead at halftime. A lack of free-throw shooting in the first half also contributed to the Mustangs’ halftime deficit.

“We were 9 of 13 from the free-throw line in the second half, and didn’t shoot a one during the first half, which never happens,” Shoal River Coach Mitch Buckelew said.

The Mustangs came back in the second half, taking a 36-28 lead at the end of the third quarter. They never trailed in the fourth quarter, on their way to the 16-point victory.

“We came out and drove to the bucket and hit some short jumper, while creating open shots for our perimeter players,” Buckelew said. “Our guys hit some big buckets and played with confidence in the second half.

“Our eighth-graders were challenged to settle down and lead, and they did their job.”

Shoal River had four players make the All-Conference team. David Loggins, Demarque Goode, Kenya McRae and Jayson Osborne, all eighth-graders, were selected to the team.