, Muskogee, OK


February 9, 2013

MHS girls jinxed at Jenks to end streak

JENKS – The curse of Frank Herald Gymnasium played its way into second-ranked Muskogee’s fourth-quarter performance against No. 9 Jenks here in Frontier Conference action Friday night.

Leading 52-44 and 5:26 from its 13th consecutive win, the Lady Roughers stumbled down the stretch and fell 59-56 to the only team they haven’t beaten in 20 contests this season.

Muskogee (17-3, 8-3) broke out of a timeout at the 6:28 mark up 45-44 and immediately got a 3-pointer by Kelsey McClure, who then converted a three-point play off a steal and another free throw off her own steal to put the Lady Roughers up 52-44.

At that point, it looked like she and her team would not only shake the misery of this gym, where McClure and the rest of the seniors have never won including a first-round regional upset against Claremore two seasons ago, but also atone for the 83-68 loss at home Jan. 4 where Jessica Washington blistered them for 51 points.

Washington, a University of North Carolina-bound senior, had 29 here Friday, including a layup that put her team up 55-54 and a pair of free throws to make it a 57-56 game with :24.4 left. Moments later, McClure, on a drive to the basket after a timeout caught her right foot on a dribble, the ball rolling out of bounds. Taylor Sears’ basket at the other end left Muskogee only with a desperation 3 from near midcourt by Aaliyah Wilson, which was off.

“We didn’t take care of business down the stretch,” Muskogee coach Doyle Rowland said. “We made some dumb fouls, fouls we didn’t need to make, and we didn’t take very good care of the ball.”

Muskogee was 3-of-12 from the field in the fourth.

“Even after we took that time out (and went up eight), you can’t count Jenks out. I don’t think the best team won, but the best team didn’t step up and take care of business,” he added.

Muskogee played much of the second half minus two starters. Sydni Carter picked up two quick fouls in the first 23 seconds of the third quarter to foul out at that point. Aaliyah Wilson, who sat most of the third quarter and part of the fourth with three fouls, left the Lady Roughers without her defensive play and her reach on the floor. Still, her team took a 45-40 lead to the fourth quarter.

Early on, she had half of Muskogee’s points, a blocked shot and a pair of rebounds until Washington connected for Jenks’ first points at the 3:11 mark of the opening quarter. Washington finished the quarter on a tear, hitting three 3-pointers, the first becoming a four-point play off a foul by J’liyah Tillman. That tied the game at 10. Washington would hit two more, giving her 12 points in the quarter and her team a 16-12 edge.

Washington opened the second quarter with her fourth 3, then Muskogee ran off 10 unanswered again off a mix of baskets from McClure, Mari Jackson and Alexus Wilson. Washington didn’t score again, missing her final three shots, and Muskogee would outscore the Lady Trojans 17-5 after Washington’s last basket.

McClure, who did not score in the first quarter, had 25 points. Alexus Wilson had 12.

Jenks goes to 12-9 and 7-5.

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