KINGSTON — A back-door layup by Mikayla Rutland with four seconds remaining gave Class 2A third-ranked Dale a 50-48 victory over 11th-ranked (3A) Kingston Saturday night in the finals of the Kingston Classic.

After Rutland scored off a pass from Elaine Witt, Kingston attempted a shot from well beyond midcourt but it didn’t come close.

Dale never trailed after sprinting to a 14-5 lead after one quarter, but Kingston was within 37-34 entering the last eight minutes.

Claire Chastain, selected the Classic’s Most Valuable Player, headed Dale’s scoring with 17. Lindy Nowakowski and Rutland, named to the all-Classic team, posted 10 and nine points, respectively.

Kes Reeves led Kingston with 24 points.

Dale (12-1) was 9 of 13 in the free-throw department.

The Lady Pirates’ Rylee Thompson, Rutland and Nowakowski encountered first-half foul problems but the Dale bench responded well.

“The bench — Lacey Savage, Jacie McClure and Brenlee Sheppard — really stepped up and gave us some good minutes,” Dale coach Josh Forsythe said. “We were able to make some big plays down the stretch. It was a great team win.”


A first-quarter scoring binge by Talihina proved to be too big a hole for Dale to climb as the Pirates suffered a 55-49 setback at the Classic.

Talihina, ranked third in Class 2A, led 19-6 after one quarter, but Dale fought back within 26-24 at the half. Talihina outscored the Pirates 18-10 in the third quarter.

Gabe Gouge, Dale’s leading scorer with 13, was 3 of 3 from the line. Logan Woodruff added nine points, including 3 of 4 charities.

Dallon Forsythe and Brady Johnson recorded two treys apiece as Dale slipped to 5-8.

Talihina netted four 3-point field goals.

“I’m proud of the way we came back after the first quarter,” Dale coach Jeff Edmonson said. “We didn’t quit in the second half.”

After defeating Atoka 49-48 in Thursday’s opening round, Dale was defeated 45-23 by Class 3A top-ranked Kingston Friday.

Dale will play host to 3A third-ranked OCS Tuesday. Latta, No. 2 in 2A, will play at Dale Friday.

Note: Report compiled by contributing writer Fred Fehr.