Post Game Summaries 12/15/2017

Lady Spartans Split Final Games Before Break


By Ron Holt

Things always look better when the basketball goes in the hoop.

Bixby’s Lady Spartans understand that statement after splitting Whitey Ford Field House games with Sapulpa and Bishop Kelley last week.

The Lady Spartans struggled offensively in dropping a 44-39 decision to Sapulpa last Tuesday but regained the shooting touch last Friday in coasting past Bishop Kelley, 59-26. Bixby carried a 5-1 record into the holiday break.

Sapulpa led 7-5 after one quarter and 18-13 at halftime. Each time the Lady Chieftains appeared to be pulling away in the second half, Bixby responded on the offensive end to remain in contention.

Trailing 29-22 with three minutes left in the third quarter, Bixby’s Sarah Tyree sank two free throws and Maddie Bittle one charity to make it a 29-25 game with 1:40 left. Down 31-25, the Lady Spartans scored five straight points – a bank shot by Tyree and three-pointer by Landry Williams – to make it a 31-30 game entering the fourth quarter.

A three-point field goal by Bittle with 1:15 showing narrowed Bixby’s deficit to 40-39 but Sapulpa scored the game’s final five points to preserve the win.

“We shot horribly the first quarter, actually the whole first half. We played good enough defense to win the game but we just couldn’t put it in the hole,” said Lady Spartan head coach Tina Thomas. “Give credit to them and their pressure defense.

“Sapulpa had a great game plan and they just executed better and beat us. When you are unbeaten, you get everyone’s best shot … we’ve got to learn how to get psychologically prepared for every game. But, it’s early in the season and we’ll get better at things we didn’t do well tonight.”

Tyree, who scored 11 second half points, led Bixby in scoring with 17 points. Bittle added eight, Savanna Stout six, Kate Bradley five and Williams three.

Bixby seized early control of the Bishop Kelley game, leading by 13-7 after one quarter. But, the Lady Spartans caught fire in the second quarter, outscoring the Lady Comets, 23-5, to build up a 36-12 halftime advantage. Bixby led 47-20 after three quarters and played several reserves in the final stanza.

“I thought they fought hard the whole game and it doesn’t hurt when you shoot like they did tonight,” Coach Thomas said. “Our goal is to go for excellence every game. That’s doesn’t mean you always win but if you strive for excellence then I’m proud of you.

“It was good to get some of the younger kids who sweat and work hard every day in practice some time on the floor tonight,” she added.

Stout, who sank three treys, led Bixby’s balanced scoring attack with 15 points. Bittle contributed 10 points, Williams eight, Tyree seven, Dariann Myles five, Sydnee Schovanec four, Avery King four, Bradley four and Kenedy Brown two.

Bixby plans to practice Monday through Wednesday this week before taking time off for Christmas. The team returns to the practice floor the day after Christmas to prepare for the Sapulpa Invitational, Dec. 27-29.

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