MOORE — For Southmoore, it was personal. When they took on Edmond Memorial in the regional championship, the SaberCats were worried about only one thing. Revenge.
The Bulldogs had beaten the SaberCats in the final game of the regular season and it left a bad taste in their mouths. They planned to wash the taste away with a regional title. However, it just got even more sour after the Bulldogs pulled out a 46-41 victory.
“It hurts,” senior Kayla Tucker said. But we will have games to play. We are not done. We will come back fighting.”
The SaberCats still advance to the area tournament Feb. 28 along with the Bulldogs. Southmoore will face Norman High at 8 p.m. in Choctaw.
However, they are now one loss away from being eliminated from the postseason. They will need a better effort if they are to make it to the state tourney.
“We didn’t show up to play,” Southmoore coach Britney Kannady-Sayes said. “We didn’t show up with the same team we’ve practiced with all week, even. We didn’t execute on offense or defense. We just didn’t have any fire.”
With less than three minutes left in the fourth quarter and trailing by eight points, Tucker hit her only 3-pointer of the day to close gap to five. After Serithia Hawkins came up with a steal, Tucker was fouled going in for layup with 1:37 left. She made 1 of 2 before the ‘Cats Kyra GIlbert forced Jenny Roy into a turnover.
Tucker knocked down a pair of free throws and Southmoore trailed 43-41 with 59 seconds left.
But Memorial didn’t crumble and ran almost 20 seconds off the clock before Roy got an uncontested layup to put the game away.
“I really think it’s our energy and our fire,” Roy said. “No one can bring us down when we are playing together. We have that energy to take it to the next level. When other teams take a break, that’s our time to come and play strong.”