Strong second half leads Lady Pirates past McLoud 

A flat start for Dale coupled by a strong defensive performance by McLoud in the first half of their game Thursday at the Bison Invitational at Oklahoma Baptist University forced Dale to put on a championship performance in the second half for a 55-35 win.

“We knew they were going to make a second half run,” McLoud coach Doug Armstrong said. “They're a championship team, that's what championship teams do. We didn't respond well.”

The Lady Pirates led 24-20 at the half but rebounded with a 29-15 second half.

Things were close in the first half of the game as McLoud put on small runs to keep things interesting.

Karlie Norwood hit a 3-pointer, and Callie Cardin made a free-throw and 3-pointer in a 7-0 run to give McLoud a 9-8 lead with 1:19 left in the first. It was McLoud's first lead since Katelyn Hoover's layup to start the game.

Dale responded with a 10-0 run that extended into the second quarter, but an 8-0 Lady Redskins rally put them right back within reach. McLoud would have gained the lead in the interim, but missed frontend shots on 1-and-1 opportunites by Lexie Boyer, Makyra Higdon and Cardin kept McLoud from taking the lead. Dale closed out the half with a 6-3 run to close the half as Rylee Thompson hit a trey and drained a free-throw.

The Lady Pirates weren't playing their brand of basketball in the first half and McLoud came out stronger, Dale coach Josh Forsythe said.

“They were playing a little harder than we were and executing a little bit better,” he said. “We were fouling too much. Offensively it seemed like there for a long period of time we were either turning the ball over or shooting the three. We weren't doing a good job of attacking the rim and getting the ball in the paint very much the first half, which we need to do a better job of.”

Armstrong liked the strong defense he saw out of his girls in the first half.

“We did a great job. We had tight close-outs, challenged shots, rebounded the basketball, took care of the basketball got to the foul line quite a bit,” he said.

Things changed after the break.

Claire Chastain drained a trey to kick off the second half and send Dale on a 19-2 run to get well out ahead, 43-22 to start the fourth.

Chastain led all scoreres with 21 points and was 7-8 from the free-throw line. Mikayla Rutland had 12, Lindy Nowakowski had eight and Thompson put in seven.

Thompson has been one of the leaders on the team and showed a lot of fight, particularly in the first half.

“Rylee stepped up and played well,” Forsythe said. She's been a leader for us so far this year and I'm proud of her. She's kind of battling through some injuries too, so she showed some toughness today.”

Hoover led McLoud with 11 points, Norwood had 10 and Logan and Cardin had five apiece. Cardin exited with an ankle injury in the second that could potentially keep her sidelined until after the christmas break.

McLoud will face Lindsay in the consolation semi-finals Friday at 1:30 p.m. Kingston defeated Lindsay 66-28 Thursday. Armstrong wants to see his young team come out and play Lindsay the way they did Dale and keep it up for the complete game.

“If we get out and defend for 32 minutes, take care of the basketball, play together, we can live with the results,” he said.

Dale will play in the semi-finals of the championship bracket Friday at 7:30 p.m. against Kingston. Forsythe knows his girls can't get the slow start they did Thursday though.

“Kingston is a quality team... We've got to do a lot better job getting off to a great start tomorrow before we find ourselves in the hole,” he said. 

Lady Bulldogs struggle against Elgin

The Meeker girls had a losing contest against Elgin 63-29 to open up their run in the Bison Invitational at Oklahoma Baptist University Thursday.

The Lady Bulldogs trailed 15-9 after the first, but an explosive 18-3 run by Elgin in the second put Meeker at a severe disadvantage.

Lexi Lopez scored the only points for Meeker in the second quarter with an and-one layup. Kennedy Brewster hit a 3-pointer and Ashley VanSchuyver hit a layup as Elgin went on a 21-5 run in the third and won out the fourth 12-9 as they went 6-8 from the charity stripe.

Lopez and VanSchuyver each had six to lead the Lady Bulldogs and Liz Jones earned all five of her points in fourth where she was 3-4 from the line.

Paige Pendley had 24 points for Elgin to lead all scorers.

Meeker will play Noble Friday at 11 a.m. in the consolation semifinals. Noble lost to Washington 60-30 Thursday. 

Thursday girls scores:

Washington 60, Noble 30

Kingston 66, Lindsay 28

Elgin 63,Meeker 29

Dale 55, McLoud 35 

Girls Friday games:

Elgin vs Washington 11 a.m.

McLoud vs Lindsay 1:30 p.m.

Meeker vs Noble 4:30 p.m.

Dale vs Kingston 7:30 p.m.