MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

February 16, 2013

Doubly rough for Muskogee: Girls, boys suffer double-digit losses at Union

TULSA – Muskogee’s 63-47 loss to Union at John Q. Hammons Arena on Friday night was a game of contrasts.

One, it was far from the 69-46 Lady Roughers’ win over this same team Jan. 17 at Ron Milam Gymnasium.

Moreover, No. 11 Union (14-9, 9-5) won for the eighth time in nine games while No. 2 Muskogee (18-5, 9-5)  heads into its home regional opener next Thursday against Moore having lost three of its final four regular season contests. It also lost a chance for an outright Frontier Conference title, which they now will share with the Lady Redskins, Jenks and possibly Bixby.

The Lady Roughers led 19-11 after a quarter before Union ran off 11 unanswered points to start the second period. Muskogee didn’t score again until Mari Jackson’s free throw at 5:06, then didn’t hit from the field until McClure’s feed to Aaliyah Wilson on the break following a steal by Alexus Wilson made it 24-22 MHS with 4:30 to go in the half

The Lady Roughers were also 5-of-27 after the half. Down 32-31 at the break, McClure scored the first basket of the second half, then Union, crisp in all facets of its offensive game, took the lead for good.

Six-foot senior guard/forward I’mani Davis, the Lady Redskins’ lone offensive threat in the first meeting with 25 points, had 22 points and 14 rebounds in the rematch, but junior forward Kensley Fox, the younger sister of Northeastern State standout Carrington Fox, had four 3-pointers in a 18-point night. Three came in the first five minutes of the third quarter, the last putting Union up 43-33 with 3:04 in the period. It would get below double-digits only once in the fourth quarter and her regulation bucket would give her team a 17-point cushion with just under 2:00 remaining.

Amaya Christon, a junior guard, added 11 points.

Davis, as did Christon, scored both inside around the basket and in transition, leaving the rocket-launchers to Fox.

“Our defense should have been in some of those passing lanes,” MHS coach Doyle Rowland said. “If we’re not playing defense the way we should, this is what will happen. We’re not as big as they are. We’re quick, but they’re just as quick, so we have to be on our game defensively and rebound with them. They had six or seven offensive rebounds in the second quarter alone.”

Overall, Union outrebounded Muskogee 39-27.

McClure led MHS with 14 points. Alexus Wilson had 10.

Other than conference relevancy, nothing else was riding on this contest. The postseason seedings were set prior to this 1-3 Senior Night road tour.

They all count now, and whether the Lady Roughers can shake the doldrums they’ve been in remains to be seen.

“The teams that are rolling at this point are the ones who will have it going in the playoffs,” Rowland said. “So in that respect, they do matter.”

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