, Muskogee, OK


January 22, 2013

Muskogee girls get revenge on Sapulpa; boys fall

— SAPULPA – No. 6 Muskogee atoned for its season-opening loss with a fast start in downing Sapulpa 57-47 in Class 6A and Frontier Conference action at the Chieftain Center on Tuesday night.

Sapulpa’s only lead came at 2-0 before Kelsey McClure, who scored a game-high 26 points, knocked down the first nine points of the contest for her team. She didn’t miss until 4:40 to go in the half, before which time she was 6-of-6, including a pair of 3-pointers.

J’liyah Tillman didn’t let the miss go to waste, draining a putback that made it a 25-11 game at that point. Mari Jackson’s 3 closed the first-half scoring and the Lady Roughers (11-2, 5-2 Frontier Conference) were on top, 31-19.

“I just try and get into my element but that’s a tough place to shoot. It’s a long floor and rims are tight and I really didn’t shoot well in warmups,” McClure said. “I got into the flow and started to feel it.”

McClure was 7-of-9 in the half with 17 points, equaling her total as the Lady Roughers’ only double-figure scorer in the last meeting, a 61-45 season-opening setback.

Jackson was also at her norm on the board, getting 13 to go with 11 points.

The lead reached 18 when Alexus Wilson, who finished with eight points, scored off a putback to make it a 42-24 game with 3:50 left in the third. Sapulpa made two late charges, getting within 10 at 48-38 with 4:35 left in the game before McClure fed Jackson on the break then went coast-to-coast herself for a 42-38 advantage with 3:15 to go.

Not done, the Chieftains closed again to within eight, but McClure’s free throws in the final minute helped douse that push.

“It’s hard to keep playing as well as we were the first half. That was a super half for us,” MHS coach Doyle Rowland said.

“We got a little complacent with our defense and offensively we seemed to be taking the attitude that it was one-and-done on a jump shot. (Sapulpa coach) Darlene Calip’s one of the best coaches in the state and she’ll have her team fight back and they did. We learned again that we need to keep our foot on someone’s throat when we have them down.”

Keysha Streater led the Lady Chieftains (6-8, 3-5 but with a win over Jenks, Muskogee’s other loss) with 21 points. April Glisson, who had 22 in the opener, was held to three points on 1-of-6 shooting, her only points coming in the third quarter.

Riding a six-game win streak, Muskogee goes to the John Nobles Tournament in Moore on Thursday where it will take on Moore at 2:30 p.m.

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