Sapulpa ends Lady Wolves' Cinderella run

Brian Johnson
Shawnee News-Star, USA TODAY NETWORK
Shawnee's Aubrie Megehee (left) posts up against a Sapulpa defender Thursday in the first round of the Class 5A Girls' State Basketball Tournament at Tulsa Memorial High School.

TULSA – Shawnee's Cinderella run ended against the top-ranked Sapulpa Lady Chieftains Thursday afternoon in the first round of the Class 5A Girls' State Basketball Tournament at Tulsa Memorial High School.

Sapulpa's 6-foot, 1-inch senior Temira Poindexter poured in 22 points and 5-10 sophomore guard Sailee Heard popped in 18 as the Lady Chieftains ousted the Lady Wolves from the state tournament with a 53-36 triumph.

“They're the best team we've faced, with their size and athleticism,” said Shawnee head coach Wendi Wells. “They're very physical and it's hard to run anything (offensively) against them. They had us mismatched at every position.”

Poindexter was 8 of 14 from the floor and knocked down all five of her free throws while Heard was 9 of 12 from the field and grabbed six rebounds. The Poindexter-Heard combo combined for 75% of Sapulpa's scoring in the game.

As a team, the Lady Chieftains shot just under 50% (21-of-43). They nailed just one 3-pointer in the contest and were 10 of 15 from the foul line.

Meanwhile, the Lady Wolves shot at just a 38% pace and managed just 11 field goals. They were only 11 of 26 from the charity stripe.

“We played really hard. We just couldn't hit our free throws and couldn't get stops when we needed,” Wells said.

Two of Shawnee's seniors led the way in the scoring department in their career finales. Aubrie Megehee tallied 14 points and Tatum Sparks followed with seven.

Megehee also topped the Lady Wolves in rebounding with nine to go with a steal and Sparks was perfect on both of her shot attempts, including one trey, to go with three boards and a steal.

Sparks, Tristyn Napier and Hallie Wilson each canned a 3-pointer in a losing effort. Napier ended up with five points. Senior Kailey Henry chipped in four points. Wilson drained her trey with four seconds left. Anneca Anderson chipped in two points and Amaya Martinez hit a free throw.

Shawnee's only lead of the game was 2-0 on Megehee's early basket. Sapulpa then countered with the next eight points, with the first four coming from the foul line (two each from Alexis Lewis and Poindexter). Poindexter then got the Lady Chieftains' first field goal and Heard executed a steal and layup to make it 8-2.

Sapulpa led 14-7 through one quarter and went on to a 21-10 halftime cushion.

The Lady Chieftains maintained control thanks to a 7-of-12 shooting effort from the floor in the third quarter. Heard connected for three buckets in that period and Lewis, who finished the game with eight points before fouling out, converted two.

Sapulpa's advantage swelled to 36-22 entering the final period.

Shawnee was able to cut into the margin by game's end with a 9-0 run in the final 3:02. Sparks and Napier each recorded a bucket during that spree before Wilson canned her 3-pointer in the waning seconds.

The Lady Wolves committed 18 turnovers to Sapulpa's 11.

The contest was the finale for six Shawnee seniors – Sparks, Megehee, Wilson, Henry, Kiera Gonzales and Kaitlyn Taylor.

The Lady Wolves won six of their last eight games in Cinderella fashion to finish 12-10 on the season.

“I'm really proud of them. This season, we started off not to our standard, but we really came together and decided we wanted more,” said Wells.