Feb. 28—Crowder is heading to the Big House.
The Lady Demons used their determination and focus to hold off Velma-Alma 49-44 and punch their ticket to the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association Class A State Tournament.
In the first half, both teams battled to try to pull ahead of the other. But neither team was willing to relent, and Velma-Alma would hold on to a small lead at the half.
In the second half, after being down by eight in the third quarter, the Lady Demons came battling back with a vengeance. They attacked at their opponent, and eventually overtook them for the lead in the fourth quarter.
In that final period, both teams once again began trading buckets. Velma-Alma retook the lead at one point, but the Lady Demons snatched it right back and ran out ahead to take the win and advance to the Class A State Tournament.
The Lady Demons will now head to Jim Norick Arena in Oklahoma City for the annual tournament of the state's top teams, with festivities scheduled for March 2-6.
WEBBERS FALLS 30, PITTSBURG 29
The Lady Panthers gave it their all.
Pittsburg faced off with Webbers Falls in a win-or-go-home game to advance to the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association Class B State Basketball Tournament, with the Lady Panthers being edged 30-29 by Webbers Falls.
Webbers Falls started the game with four quick points before Trinity Wiseman sent in an answer for Pittsburg. That was later followed by a floater from Paege Kinsey to bring the Lady Panthers back within one points. But Webbers Falls would respond in kind, and take a 12-6 lead after the opening quarter.
In the second quarter, the Lady Panthers turned up the defense another notch — holding Webbers Falls to just a single point the entire period. Meanwhile, Pittsburg used its patient offense to start racking up points as Wiseman recorded six points and Catyn Graham added a pair of free throws to put the Lady Panthers in the lead 14-13 at the half.
In the start of the second half, the Lady Panthers continued with their suffocating defensive efforts. But after a few minutes of a scoring drought, Webbers Falls would hit a triple to take the lead away from Pittsburg. Not to be outdone, Graham hit one of her own from the left wing to put the Lady Panthers back on top.
This set off a barrage of back and forth scoring, with both teams finding success from beyond the arc and attacking the basket. But Pittsburg stayed focused on the task at hand, and found themselves down by only two points after three quarters.
In the final, dramatic period, Graham tied the game back up by driving through the defense and laying it in from the right side. Webbers Falls responded with a long-arcing three and added in a bucket to go back up by five.
With just seconds remaining, Wiseman drove to the bucket for the score, bringing the deficit to just three points. The Lady Panthers were forced to foul, and — as Pittsburg hit a three at the buzzer — Webbers Falls earlier hit a pair of free throws to hold on for the win.
Here are scores and upcoming game times for local Class A-B area basketball tournaments:
AREA IV AT SHAWNEE
G1: Velma-Alma 40, Stuart 35
G2: Strother 45, Allen 26
G3: Velma-Alma 52, Strother 46
G4: Hydro-Eakly 68, Crowder 28 (Winner advances to state)
G5: Crowder 49, Velma-Alma 44 (Winner advances to state)
AREA II AT STROUD
G1: Webbers Falls 45, McCurtain 34
G2: Red Oak 46, Coyle 40
G3: Webbers Falls 37, Red Oak 25
G4: Lomega 70, Pittsburg 38 (Winner advances to state)
G5: Webbers Falls 30, Pittsburg 29 (Winner advances to state)
AREA IV AT BYNG
G1: Cyril 35, Stringtown 21
G2: Whitesboro 51, Coleman 26
G3: Whitesboro 47, Cyril 37
G4: Kiowa 66, Varnum 52 (Winner advances to state)
G5: Whitesboro vs. Varnum, 6 p.m. (Winner advances to state)
Contact Derek Hatridge at email@example.com.