MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

March 16, 2014

R'allie' Cats: Glover’s 3 sends Lady Tigers to repeat state title

OKLAHOMA CITY - It will be forever known in Fort Gibson girls’ basketball history as “The Shot.”

Allie Glover drained a 27-footer with 3.2 seconds remaining that lifted the Lady Tigers to a 50-47 come-from-behind victory over the Anadarko Lady Warriors to win the Class 4A state championship on Saturday at State Fair Arena.

“These girls know what’s important,” said Fort Gibson coach Jerry Walker. “Regular girls quit. We don’t quit. You might beat us, but we’re coming back.”

With the win, Fort Gibson becomes the first girls team in 4A to win back-to-back state championships since the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association went to 5-on-5 girls basketball in 1995. Prior to that, the last school to win consecutive titles in 4A was Carl Albert in 1989.

“It was a great game,” said Anadarko coach Jeff Zinn. “Both teams showed great character. We knew Fort Gibson wasn’t going to quit. We just didn’t have enough in the end. In the fourth quarter, we took some shots we shouldn’t have taken.”

The Lady Tigers trailed by two points at the end of the first quarter, 9-7, but allowed the Lady Warriors to convert seven of the 11 shots in the second quarter and trailed 27-15 at halftime.

“Coach Walker is always telling us the score doesn’t matter at halftime,” said Savannah Gray, the lone senior on the squad. “If we’re up by 20 or down by 20, it doesn’t matter. We just have to come out and play our game with rebounds and not giving them second shots. That was the problem in the first half. Anadarko got a lot of 3s off of second shots.”

The third quarter saw Fort Gibson tread water as Anadarko (26-5) matched the Lady Tigers point for point until the 5:24 mark of the quarter. That’s when the Lady Warriors went on a 7-2 run to grab a 39-23 lead with :32.1 left in the quarter, their largest lead of the game. Gray drained a 3 just before the end of the quarter to cut it to 13.

Isabelle Hubbert made one of two free throws to cut the deficit to 10 with 6:19 left. After Tandra King made the score 42-30 with a jumper in the lane eight seconds later, the comeback started in earnest.

Gray came down the floor and hit on a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 42-33 and made two free throws on Fort Gibson’s next possession to make the score 42-35.

The key play of the comeback occurred when Fort Gibson’s Grace Parker got her hands on a pass and drove the length of the floor for a layup while being fouled. After making her free-throw attempt, the score was 42-38.

That’s when Glover and Desiree Phipps went to work.

Glover made two free throws and hit her first 3 of the game with 2:17 left to make it a three-point deficit at 44-41. After a Lady Warriors’ turnover, Phipps, who led Fort Gibson with 17 points, made back-to-back jumpers in the lane to give the Lady Tigers only their second lead of the game at 45-44 with 1:24 left on the clock.

The two teams traded leads just once more with Fort Gibson earning the last lead change on another Phipps jumper from the free-throw line for a 47-46 advantage with 36.7 seconds left.

Anadarko’s Kelsey Schumpert tied the score at 47-47 by making her second of two free-throw attempts and setting up Glover’s heroics.

“This is the best feeling ever,” Glover said of her heroics. “I’m just so excited. We worked for it and we deserve it.”

Gray also finished with 11 points. Ashley Beatty finished with a double-double for Anadarko (18 points, 10 rebounds).

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