Post Game Summaries 2/2/2018

Fourth-Ranked Owasso Edges Lady Spartans, 49-43


By Ron Holt

In a toss-up, evenly-matched basketball game, Owasso’s fourth-ranked Lady Rams made the key plays late in holding off ninth-ranked Bixby, 49-43, in a Frontier Valley Conference battle inside Whitey Ford Field House Friday night.

It was the third straight loss for Bixby, 13-6, which has played a demanding schedule the past three games against second-ranked Bartlesville, Owasso and 10th-ranked Sand Springs.

Bixby goes on the road this coming week, visiting 20th-ranked Sapulpa on Tuesday (Feb. 6) and Bishop Kelley on Friday (Feb. 9).

It was obvious from the outset that the Lady Spartans were focused against Owasso. Opening the game with three-point field goals from senior Maddie Bittle and freshman Landry Williams and a short-range jumper by Bittle lifted the Lady Spartans to a 9-2 lead with 5:56 left in the first quarter.

BHS led 12-9 after one period and after a layin by Bittle gave the hosts a 14-9 lead Owasso caught fire and scored six straight points for its first lead at 15-14 at the 4:12 mark of the second stanza. It was a back-and-forth affair the rest of the period before the Lady Rams’ Mya Bhinhar scored the final five points to give her team a 25-23 halftime lead.

Owasso took over in the third quarter, leading by 10 points on two occasions – 37-27 and 40-30 – and holding a 40-32 advantage going into the final quarter.

A pair of three-pointers by Williams, a drive by freshman Kate Bradley and three free throws by Bittle with 29.5 seconds remaining trimmed the deficit to 45-43. But, the Lady Spartans were unable to put together any offense late as the Lady Rams sealed the win at the free throw line.

“We played them down to the wire. I was more pleased with this game because they wanted it … they just couldn’t finish it,” Lady Spartan head coach Tina Thomas said afterward. “I told them if you want to compete with championship teams you have to be perfect on the little things. When they amped up the pressure my girls couldn’t get into our set plays at the end.

“Hopefully, we’ll rebound from these past losses during the toughest part of our schedule. Hopefully, we’ll grow from these experiences and be ready for the playoffs. I told them you can beat anybody in the state when you play well. I’m proud of their determination and resolve to get better every day.

“It’s a fun group to coach, even the kids that aren’t getting on the floor much are keeping that same resolve every day in practice to help make us better,” Coach Thomas added.

Bittle led Bixby in scoring with 18 points, followed by Williams with nine, Bradley with eight, Sydney Schovanec with four, Savanna Stout with two and Sarah Tyree with two.

A strong first half performance lifted Sand Springs to a 69-56 victory over the Lady Spartans last Tuesday (Jan. 31). The Lady Sandites built up a 40-24 lead at halftime and withstood a strong second-half effort by the Lady Spartans.

“They got the big first half lead but the girls cut it down to five late in the third quarter. That’s a credit to these kids showing their resiliency. You have to believe it will pay off at some point. Sand Springs had been in a slump but they came out on a mission and played really good,” Coach Thomas noted.

Bittle topped the Lady Spartans in scoring with 20 points, followed by Sydney Page with 10, Schovanec with nine, Dariann Myles with eight, Tyree with six and Bradley with three.

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