January 29 Season Update

Lady Spartans Split Conference Games

 By Ron Holt

Bixby High’s Lady Spartan basketballers played well early in the week and struggled later in the week in splitting a pair of Frontier Valley Conference games.

Last Tuesday, Bixby turned in a consistent, impressive road performance in capturing a 41-32 victory over the Sapulpa Lady Chieftains.

Senior guard Kyndal Pirtle led the Lady Spartans in scoring with 12 points while post player Sarah Tyree contributed 10 points. Other Bixby scorers included Savanna Stout with eight points, Maddie Bittle with five and Cassidy Sloan and Maddie Fuhr with three points apiece.

“Pirtle had a good night … she was four-of-six on three point shot,” Lady Spartan head coach Tina Thomas said. “Tyree had her usual tough and consistent performance. She also had eight rebounds while Sloan added seven rebounds.

“They face-guarded Bittle which limited her shots but she made great assists and played great defense while also nabbing five rebounds.”

Despite playing in front of a large, vocal “Black Out” night crowd, the Lady Spartans struggled from start to finish in losing 42-31 to Bishop Kelley’s Lady Comets in Whitey Ford Field House last Friday night.

A three-pointer and layup by Bittle gave Bixby an early 7-5 lead before Kelley added the final four points of the first quarter to lead 9-7 and the visitors held a 13-12 lead at halftime.

Five points by Kennedy Brown helped Bixby trim the deficit to 20-19 midway through the third quarter before Kelley went on a 9-0 run to increase the lead to 29-19 after three quarters.

Bixby battled back in the fourth quarter after Pirtle and Bittle drained three-pointers and Sloan scored on a jumper to narrow the deficit to 33-27 with 2:45 left in the game. A layup by Sloan with 57 seconds left made it a 37-31 game before the Lady Comets sealed the win at the line.

Bittle led Bixby in scoring with eight points. Other Lady Spartan scorers were Brown with five, Sloan, Stout and Tyree with four each and Fuhr and Pirtle with three each. Michaela Martin led Bishop Kelley with 12 points.

“The girls played really tentative and had mental lapses. The first half defensively they stuck with our strategy but in the second half they started chasing,” Coach Thomas said afterward.

“But, we’ve also got to score more than 31 points … we hit only four of 24 three point shots. We reduced our turnovers down to 12 with them pressuring us. That isn’t great, but was much better than we have been doing,” she added.

Bixby goes on the road Tuesday, Jan. 31, to play Tulsa Union and the Lady Spartans return to Whitey Ford Field House on Friday, Feb. 3, against Broken Arrow.

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