ADA – In what looked to be a back and forth game in the early going ended as anything but in Shawnee's 45-33 win over Guthrie Thursday at the East Central Oklahoma Classic.
Shawnee head coach Wendi Wells called it a good win for the team.
“It was good getting kids into action,” she said. “We had some foul trouble yesterday. We're trying to work on learning some stuff.”
A somewhat sloppy and evenly matched start saw the Lady Bluejays up 14-11 at the end of the first quarter.
Slowly, but surely the Lady Wolves began to assert themselves in the second quarter.
Shawnee outscored Guthrie 14-6 in the quarter and carried a 25-20 lead into the half.
The Lady Wolves' advantage grew from the start of the third quarter.
Sophomore Kelsey Simmons open the scoring in the second half to make it 27-20. Then, junior Bailey Taylor stroked a 3-pointer to increase the lead to 30-20.
Sophomore Monique Tramble completed the Lady Wolves' 7-0 with a cutting drive and layup.
From there, Shawnee's defense made an adjustment, Wells said.
“The biggest thing for us was in the second half trying when we started containing,” she said. “We stopped going for steals. If we go for steals, people are gonna play over the top of us because we're so small. We have to learn how to keep our girl in front of us with position defense and make the other team make mistakes. Don't allow them to feed off our mistakes.”
Players took to the change, Taylor added.
“Coach told us to contain,” she said. “It was easy to make the transition and not go for steals.”
Wells was also happy with the team's offensive performance.
“Offensively, our patience was so much better,” she said. “The fact that now we're starting to learn how to run the motion offense. I was really pleased to see how we're progressing but they're definitely room for improvement.
Taylor led the team with 15 points. Senior McKenzie Cooper had 12 points while facing constant double teams and Simmons added 10 points.
Taylor said the team's offense opened up as the game progressed.
“We set screens to get open and took fewer threes,” she said. “There was lots of ball movement. Then, we saw back cuts to get open layups.”
Wells left in the same set of players as the game wound down. This combination was able to keep Guthrie at bay in the final period.
“That teamwork is a big thing,” she said. “I told the girls I don't really care whose playing. I said whoever is playing well will be in there until they get tired. That group at the time seemed to be helping each other.”
Page 2 of 2 - Up next the Lady Wolves will face the Choctaw Yellowjackets for the tournament championship.
Wells was blunt, but upbeat in her assessment of their opponents ahead of the Choctaw-Ada semifinal match up Thursday night.
“I haven't seen them yet, but I hear Choctaw is undefeated in 6A,” she said. “We don't really match up with anybody. We have kids filling in different roles. We just ask kids to fill in where we need them to. They said okay. It's a great group and we're having a lot of fun.”