By Ronn Rowland
Phoenix Sports Writer
SAND SPRINGS – Kelsey McClure was given specific instructions from Muskogee High School girls coach Doyle Rowland prior to the Lady Roughers game with Sand Springs.
Rowland had to miss most of the game to attend to a personal matter, arriving midway through the third quarter, and told his senior he was depending on her and the other seniors to carry the load in his absence.
And carry it she did as McClure finished with a game-high 23 points in the Lady Roughers’ 66-48 win over the Lady Sandites on Tuesday in Sand Springs.
“Coach told me before we left he was leaning on us seniors,” McClure said. “We knew what we needed to do and we went out and did it. We didn’t want to disappoint coach.”
The Lady Roughers improved to 4-1 on the season, their Frontier Conference mark at 1-1. The Lady Sandites fall to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in Frontier action.
“The girls played excellent defense tonight,” said Muskogee assistant Shonika Breedlove, who ran the team in Rowland’s absence. “We’ve been telling them that if they stick with it, everything will take care of itself.”
McClure was 9 for 14 shooting, 4 of 8 from 3-point range, and also grabbed five rebounds.
Mari Jackson was 6 of 11 from the field and finished with 18 points and six rebounds while Alexus Wilson was 4 of 10 shooting, finishing with 11 points and five rebounds.
The game was never in doubt as the Lady Roughers took a 12-4 advantage after the first quarter and stretched their lead to 30-15 at the half.
“I’m proud of the way the team performed,” McClure said. “It was important that we show the coaches we can do what they say, even if one of them is out.”
Sand Springs 35
The boys were just as dominant as the girls were as they improved to 3-2 on the year, 2-0 in Frontier action, while Sand Springs remained winless at 0-4, 0-2 in conference play.
“It was very important for us to keep after them,” said David Beasley, who led all scorers with 22 points. “We had the mindset that if we had them down by 20, we wanted to put them down by 30.”
One person to see Beasley’s night was Muskogee coach Josh Berry.
“We’re a good team when David’s on and a not-so-good team when he’s not,” Berry said. “Tonight, was good and you saw what happened.”
Two other Roughers finished the night in double figures as Anthony King had 13 points while Tramal Ivy recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The Roughers put the game away in the second quarter. After Beasley canned a 3-point shot at the buzzer to end the first quarter to give MHS the lead for good at 11-10, Muskogee went on a 13-4 run to gain at 24-14 lead.
The lead would eventually stretch to 35-18 at the half and 59-26 at the end of the third quarter.