January 14 Season Update


Bixby’s Lady Spartans Take Positive Steps

 By Ron Holt

It was a week of ups and downs for Bixby High’s Lady Spartan basketball team. It was also a week where the positives outweighed the negatives.

The week began with a dramatic 39-36 victory over Southmoore in the consolation finals of the Putnam City Invitational Monday at Putnam West’s gymnasium.

BHS had little time to recover before hosting Frontier Valley Conference rival Bartlesville Tuesday in Whitey Ford Field House. The hot-shooting Lady Bruins defeated the out-of-synch Lady Spartans, 56-27.

After a couple of solid days of practice, Bixby turned in its finest performances of the season at Sand Springs. The Lady Spartans overcame a sizeable early deficit to tie the game at 30-all at intermission but the unbeaten Lady Sandites outscored the visitors, 19-11, in the third quarter in pulling away for a 67-51 victory.

Bixby played with more cohesiveness and team chemistry against the talented Lady Sandites and forced the tempo much of the game.

Sand Springs, behind torrid three-point shooting by Isabella Regalado, went on top 22-5 with two minutes to go in the first quarter before the Lady Spartans caught fire.

Bixby went on an 8-0 run to trim the deficit to 22-13 and trailed 24-15 entering the second quarter. The Lady Spartans kept applying pressure in the second quarter, outscoring the hosts 15-6 to tie the game at 30-all at halftime

A three-point by Kyndal Pirtle and free throw by Maddie Bittle gave Bixby a 34-32 lead at the 6:14 mark of the third quarter before Sand Springs relied on its defense to regain the momentum. Capitalizing on BHS turnovers, the Lady Sandites built a 49-41 lead after three quarters and pulled away midway through the final frame to improve to 9-0 on the season.

“They started lighting us up with three pointers early so we had to come out of the zone and went to the man. We played well except for early in the third quarter when we were careless with the basketball and they got some easy baskets to take the lead,” Bixby head coach Tina Thomas said.

“We played with a lot of continuity and heart. We were down 22-5 and they fought back and got it tied at halftime. I’m proud of the resilience they showed battling back when we got down early. I thought we played with the best chemistry that we have this season and that’s the first time I’ve felt like they stuck to the game plan.

“It doesn’t hurt that we shot the ball really well … that always makes things look better. I was proud of the way they competed,” she said. “The Bartlesville game was bad as nothing went right. It felt horrible as a player and coach to go through that. But, they came back Wednesday and Thursday, rolled up their sleeves and had the best workouts we’ve had this season.”

Bittle led Bixby with 18 points, followed by Cassidy Sloan with 10. Pirtle finished with nine while Savanna Stout and Sarah Tyree each hit five points, Maddie Fuhr hit three and Kenedy Brown two.

Bixby, now 5-8, returns home Tuesday, Jan. 17, to entertain Owasso, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Bartlesville 56, Bixby 27

Bartlesville finished with 11 three-pointers, led by Erin Shoemaker’s six treys in a 20-point outing, as it took control early against the Lady Spartans, who also struggled offensively.

Bittle’s eight points led BHS while Stout and Tyree each hit six points, Fuhr three and Pirtle and Hannah Davis two each.

“We tried a lot of different things on defense but had problems and I thought their pressure just made us freak out. If we had made layups and free throws that would have been a different game,” Coach Thomas said. “I counted about 18 point-blank shots in the paint that we missed and we were 7-of-18 on free throws … that’s 30 points right there.”

Bixby 39, Southmoore 36

(Consolation Finals At Putnam City Tournament)

Fuhr, a senior guard, only hit three points during Bixby’s consolation finals game against Southmoore in the weather-delayed Putnam City Invitational last Monday (Jan. 9) but her trey at the final buzzer propelled the Lady Spartans to a 39-36 victory.

Bittle led Bixby in scoring with 13 points, followed by Pirtle, Tyree and Sloan with six each, Stout and Fuhr with three each and Brown with two.

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