SHAWNEE - Drought busted.
The Tecumseh Lady Savages are headed to the Class 4A Area Tournament for the first time since 2007 with their 38-33 win over the Pauls Valley Lady Panthers Saturday afternoon at North Rock Creek High School.
“I’m really proud of this team,” said Tecumseh head coach Eldon Gentry II. “It’s been 13 years since this team (Lady Savages) have mad it to the area tournament.”
The first quarter was a matter of survival as both squads struggled on the offensive end of the court resulting in a 5-5 tie after eight minutes of play.
“Both teams were exhausted after playing three days in a row,” said Gentry.
In the second quarter, Tecumseh’s offense jumped on the shoulders of freshman Kenzli Warden. Warden scored 10 of Tecumseh’s 15 points in the quarter as the Lady Savages took a 20-10 halftime lead over the Lady Panthers.
After the break, Pauls Valley took control as their leader, Katelyn Davenport, scored 13 points in the third to get the Lady Panthers within a point, 25-26, heading into the fourth.
In the final quarter, Warden, who was shutout in the third, took control once more. Warden scored six more times, including two big free throws with :09 left in the contest to give the Lady Savages the two-possession lead and five-point win.
Warden finished with a game-high 17 points.
“Kenzli (Warden) is just a ninth grader and really stepped up for us,” said Gentry.
Tecumseh’s Schantell Evans was big inside and scored nine points. Tawny Billy chipped in with six.
The Lady Savages will now set their sights on the area tournament with a match against Bishop McGuiness.
The two will tip Thursday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at Washington High School. Tecumseh will need three consecutive wins this week to advance to the state tournament.