The milestones just keep stacking up for Shawnee head coach Wendi Wells.
After taking the program to a pinnacle never before reached last season, Wells notched her 100th win at the Lady Wolves’ helm with a 28-20 triumph over McAlester in Friday’s semifinals of the Arvest Bank/Sehorn Yamaha Shawnee Invitational at the Shawnee High School Performing Arts and Athletic Center.
“Win No. 100 is really exciting, but I told the kids it wouldn’t be possible without them,” Wells said. “These kids go out and do everything asked of them.”
Wells and crew were the first Lady Wolves edition to reach a state tournament in the 2010-11 season, and they became the first to claim a state crown the following year.
Friday’s low-scoring affair put Class 5A’s top-ranked Lady Wolves at 15-1 and into today’s 6:30 p.m. championship game against Stillwater.
Shawnee held the Lady Buffs scoreless throughout the first quarter, and the lead swelled to 15-3 by halftime.
That’s when McAlester made it interesting.
The Lady Buffs out-gunned Shawnee 6-4 in the third, thus cutting the lead to 10 (19-9), and a pair of free throws late in the fourth shaved the hosts’ lead to just four (24-20). That was it for McAlester, however, and the Lady Wolves went out on a 4-for-4 effort at the free throw line to effect the final margin.
Both teams were 5-for-7 overall on charities.
“We didn’t come into this game mentally prepared,” Wells said. “Hopefully this is a wakeup call for them; we should be prepared every game.”
Wells credited the Lady Wolves with “playing hard,” but said the young team continues to learn.
Junior McKenzie Cooper was the catalyst for Shawnee’s early lead, scoring 10 of the Lady Wolves’ points in the first half. She added seven more down the stretch to finish with a game-high 17.
Cooper notched a pair of 3-point field goals, and was 1-for-3 on free throws.
Sophomore Bailey Taylor notched five points. Senior Micaela Yu and freshman Kelsey Simmons were each 2-for-2 at the stripe.
Kaleisha Johnson led McAlester with eight points. Meredith Saunier added five.
McAlester falls into today’s 3:30 p.m. third-place game against Tulsa Edison. Edison was topped by Stillwater, 64-56, in Friday’s semifinals.
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On the consolation side of the girls’ bracket Friday, El Reno defeated Northwest Classen 68-54, and Ardmore defeated Southeast, 62-29. El Reno and Ardmore will play for the consolation title at 12:30 p.m. today, while Southeast and NW Classen fight for seventh at 9:30 a.m.