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Dale Pirates win, advance to state tournament next weekend

Keven Scrutchins
Contributing Writer
Dale's Ike Shirey surveys the court Friday night against Talihina.

ADA — Excitement overload. The Dale basketball squads entered Friday night’s Class 2A Area III championship games and gave the packed house quite a show. The Pirates advanced into next weekend’s State Tournament with a buzzer-beating 42-40 win over the Talihina Tigers after the Lady Pirates fell to the Vanoss Wolves, 73-65, in overtime.

Trailing 40-39, the Pirates rebounded the second-straight missed front end of a one-and-one by Talihina and quickly called a timeout with :16 left in the contest.

Dale struggled to find an opening in the Tiger defense until Ike Shirey broke free and let fly a three-pointer that hit nothing but net as the buzzer sounded, sending the Pirates into a state tournament frenzy.

“Ike made me look good,” said Dale head coach Jeff Edmonson in regards to the final play called in the time out.

The two squads battled for four straight quarters, and defense was the name of this game. Dale led 14-7 after the first quarter, before Talihina’s defense stifled Dale in the second quarter, holding the Pirates to one lone field goal and took a 22-16 lead into the half.

Dale got hot in the third quarter as Palmer Jones hit a trey and Shirey hit two bombs in the frame. The Pirates outscored Talihina 15-8 in the third and held a 31-30 lead heading into the fourth.

The Tigers, in the fourth, built their biggest lead of the contest, 38-31, on an Austin Fenton bucket at the four-minute mark.

Dale finished the game on an 11-2 run to steal the win.

“We didn’t play our best game,” said Edmonson. “We just kept playing found a way to win it.”

Shirey finished the game with 16 points and hit four three-pointers. Palmer Jones added seven for the Pirates.

Talihina’s Nick McLemore and Fenton each scored 15 points.

The Lady Pirates will have one more chance to punch their ticket to the Class 2A State Tournament, when they face Allen, Saturday night at 6:30 in Ada.

Dale was oh so close to getting it done Friday night and Danyn Lang put on a shooting clinic. The junior guard scored 30 points and hit nine trey’s and even threw in an old fashioned three point play against the Wolves.

Vanoss streaked to a 16-6 lead after the first quarter only to see the Lady Pirates chip away at them for the next three quarters.

Vanoss led 31-24 at the half, despite Lang’s 18 point, six three-pointer first half. The Wolves countered with 18-points first half points from Emily Wilson. Wilson finished the game with 27 points.

Vanoss maintained the seven point advantage through the third quarter and held a 47-40 lead going into the fourth.

Dale took its’ second lead of the game, 58-56, after back-to-back treys by Emilia Idleman and Lang with :50 left to play.

Vanoss’ Lizzy Simpson hit two free throws to tie the game at 58-58 with :34 left. That turned out to be the last points of regulation. Dale had a final shot, but Faith Wright’s three-point attempt was partially blocked by Emrie Ellis as the final horn blew.

In the overtime, Vanoss scored the first nine points to take control and advance into the state tournament.

Elaine Witt joined Lang in double figure scoring with 10 and Miya Miller chipped in nine points off of the Dale bench.

Vanoss’ Lizzy Simpson scored 19 points and Alexus Belcher hit for 12, with seven of the points coming in overtime play.