MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

December 15, 2013

Tournament run extends for undefeated MHS girls


Phoenix Staff Reports

— Muskogee coach Doyle Rowland is making some quick discoveries about his young team.

One, he’s got some offense to go with returning starter Aaliyah Wilson. He’s also finding a freshman point guard on the rise.

Jada Ford had a season-high 30 points, including 15 in the third period, as the 6A No. 11 Lady Roughers moved to 4-0 on the season with a 62-46 win against Bentonville to win the Big Dawg Classic tournament at Vinita. It’s their fourth straight tournament championship dating back to the 2012 Bedouin Shrine Classic.

Muskogee was up 29-22 at the half and Bentonville (3-1) ran off six unanswered points before the Lady Roughers took control with defense and Ford’s hot hand.

“We went to our bread and butter with the full-court man and trap and blew it open pretty good,” Rowland said. “Jada knew Aaliyah was a little gassed from Friday so it was her turn to step up. She started slow (three points in the first quarter) but she turned it on, whether it was inside or outside.”

Wilson had 10 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots. Ford was the tournament MVP and Wilson made the all-tournament team.

But Rowland was quick to give props to Trena Mims, who came off the bench to run the offense and finished with 10 points and blocked four shots.

“The way she’s playing we may have to give her the keys to the Mercedes and let her drive it,” Rowland said. “It’s going to be tough to limit her.”

Muskogee gets a pair of home games this week, its home opener against No. 2 Broken Arrow on Tuesday and Sand Springs in a makeup of the snowed out game Dec. 6.

“We’re playing well. Tuesday will be tough. We’ll go see how we match up,” Rowland said.