The Moore American
Despite Southmoore and Edmond Santa Fe being two of the top teams in the state, they had never played each other the past two seasons. So when they faced off Saturday in the Region 1 championship game, it felt more like a boxing match than a basketball game.
Unfortunately for No. 17 Southmoore, it was the second-ranked Wolves who landed the most blows and walked away with a 57-50 victory at ESF.
“It was a really tough game,” Southmoore’s Cydni Campbell said. “We knew what we were getting ourselves into the whole time. We were prepared. We just missed layups, missed defensive assignments that caused us to be down.”
Santa Fe (22-1) will face Norman North Thursday in the Area tourney. Coach Paul Bass said this game gets them ready for the Timberwolves.
“There is another big game,” Bass said. “This is getting us ready for the level we need to get to. We’ve got to get prepared for Norman North.”
The loss means Southmoore will take on Lawton Eisenhower in an elimination game Thursday. Coach Britney Kannady-Sayes wants the same effort her squad gave against the Wolves.
“I’d keep that same fire and have some confidence in hitting shots at the end, I think that ball game goes the other way,” Kannady-Sayes said.
With 3:03 left in the game, Southmoore trailed ESF 46-43 and Tamara Lee turned the ball over to the Cats. Freshman Hayley Eaves put up a deep 3-pointer that went halfway down before popping out of the rim.
The Wolves combined to hit three free throws to go up 49-43 with 2:15 left.
Deasha Page hit a jumper for Southmoore to close deficit to four.
With 1:38 left, the Wolves tried to dribble out the clock. Because the Cats were in such severe foul trouble, they couldn’t foul right away. Shepherd fouled out and Lee closed the game out at the free throw line. She made 11 of 12 in the fourth.
Even though the Wolves made only one field goal in the final period, Southmoore wasn’t able to take advantage. Much of that had to do with foul trouble to Serithia Hawkins, Kyeria Hannah and Jamia Sheppard. Hannah and Sheppard fouled out in the fourth.
“It was pretty big because it was our main players, our post players, who got in foul trouble the most,” Williams said. “We couldn’t really do anything about it. Those were the refs’ calls. We had no control over it.”
Hawkins paced the Cats with 14 points and 16 rebounds and four steals. Hannah chipped in 14 points and eight rebounds.
Lee had a game high 27 points to lead the Wolves’ charge. Aahliyah Jackson posted 12 points and 12 rebounds.
The Cats started the game off going straight to Hawkins. The multi-dimensional post was able to score from all over the court in the first quarter and dominated on the boards.
However, Hawkins picked up her third foul with 7:23 left in the second quarter. Kannady-Sayes didn’t think about taking her star player out of the contest.
“At that time we had it going on offense and defense and we were fighting,” Kannady-Sayes said. “I didn’t think that was something that needed to be reckoned with or stop.”
The Southmoore starters played every minute until the final 18 seconds of the third period. Despite being worn down, the game was tied at 40-40 heading into the fourth.
“I couldn’t be more proud,” Kannady-Sayes said. “The only way I would be more proud of this team in that game, is if we had won. Going into the fourth quarter tied, we gave ourselves that shot. It just didn’t go our way with the calls and the free throws. They hit some shots and we didn’t.”
No. 1 Putnam City West boys 93, No. 16 Moore 66: The Patriots jumped to a big first-half lead on the foul plagued Lions using their full-court defense to cause multiple turnovers.
Moore was able to make a run in the third quarter and closed to within 48-40 behind Brayden Powell and Jaylin Wilson.
However, Powell picked up back-to-back fouls and had to go to the bench with his fourth overall. Wilson tried to keep the team in it as he scored at will over PCW’s Omega Harris.
But it was enough to overcome a full blitz by Putnam City West in the fourth quarter, who left their starters in the game until 18 seconds left.
Moore coach Aaron Howell had a problem with the officiating throughout the night and was called for a technical foul after Powell picked up his fifth and fouled out. That ended any chance of a comeback.
Moore advances to play Norman High on Friday in the area tournament in a win-or-go-home game.
Choctaw girls 55, Westmoore 36: Loss drops the Lady Jaguars to the consolation round in the area tourney. They will face Putnam City on Thursday.