Class 5A’s new sheriff continues to lay down the law.
The defending state champions, Shawnee’s Lady Wolves ran their season mark to 23-2 Saturday and picked up their third consecutive regional title by blistering El Reno 52-23 at the Shawnee High School Performing Arts and Athletic Center.
It’s no mystery why they are ranked first in the class.
Shawnee opened a 12-0 lead to start the contest, and continued to frustrate El Reno through all four quarters. The 20th-ranked Lady Indians finally got on the board with 59 seconds to go in the first quarter, and that 12-2 disadvantage only got worse as the Lady Wolves claimed a 23-6 lead by halftime.
El Reno turned the ball over eight times in the first quarter, and five more in the second quarter. Shawnee’s Kelsey Simmons recorded three steals in the opening quarter, turning her first into a fast-break layup for the game’s first points.
Lady Wolf McKenzie Cooper notched eight first-quarter points on her way to finishing with a game-high 18.
“We talked about coming into the game and playing hard, and starting the game with intensity,” said SHS coach Wendi Wells. “Defensively, I thought they played really smart. They played great on-ball defense.”
Wells said offensively, her crew “got a little excited at times.”
“We’ve got to work on controlling it and slowing down and thinking it through,” Wells said. “I think they’re doing pretty well, especially considering how young we are. I was really pleased with their composure. The game was very physical and they were able to battle through and make plays. It was good to see that we’re maturing that way.”
Shawnee held a 41-14 lead after three quarters.
The Lady Wolves went on a 10-3 run in the fourth, capped by two successful free throws by Tyann Maytubby with 3:23 left to play. That put the hosts up by their largest cushion of 34 points (51-17).
Shawnee was solid at the foul line, going 12-for-16 for 75 percent. Micaela Yu was 4-for-5 en route to finishing the game with a dozen points.
El Reno’s Taleigh Davis was 5-for-5 on free throws in netting a team-high 13 points. The Lady Indians were 7-for-10 (70 percent) on charities.
Page 2 of 2 - Through two regional tournament games, Shawnee blasted opponents by a combined total score of 126-35. The Lady Wolves drubbed first-round opponent Capitol Hill by a 74-12 count.
El Reno, after defeating Bishop McGuinness in the opening round, will enter next week’s area tournament on the consolation side.
Shawnee will face a yet-to-be-determined opponent at a yet-to-be-determined time and site. The Lady Wolves are just one win away from reaching their third consecutive state tournament.