By Mike Kays
Phoenix Sports Editor
BROKEN ARROW – Toree Thompson’s feed to Tierra Jones with 1.3 seconds to go in overtime gave Broken Arrow a 64-62 win over Muskogee here Monday night, handing the Lady Roughers back-to-back losses for the first time this season.
Thompson, who finished with 33 points, gave Jones the game-winner after scoring all nine of BA’s points in the extra period up to that point. Jones finished with four points in the contest.
After scoring 19 points in the first half, Thompson was held without a field goal by Muskogee (17-4, 8-4 Frontier Conference) in the second half. But the Lady Roughers couldn’t cover her in overtime, including a shot she took for an uncontested layup off an inbounds pass following a timeout that gave her team a 62-61 lead with 40 seconds to play.
“We had some defensive lapses,” Muskogee coach Doyle Rowland said, citing that basket in particular. “I told the girls I wanted them to help on her and we didn’t react quick enough.”
Reaction time hurt on the last basket, too.
Kelsey McClure missed the front end of a two-shot free-throw situation with 8.1 seconds left but tied the game with the second shot. The Lady Tigers broke the Muskogee defense quickly and Thompson fed Jones from the top of the circle for the layup.
“It’s another tough loss,” Rowland said.
McClure, who missed an off-balance 3 on a slowly developing set at the end of regulation, ended the night with 30 points. Alexus Wilson had 14. Mari Jackson had 13 rebounds, tops for MHS in that category.
The game was tied at 53 going into OT. BA led at the half 20-17. It was Muskogee’s second overtime game this year, winning the previous one at Owasso 88-86 in mid-December.
The Lady Roughers won’t drop from their No. 2 spot in the Okrankings coaches poll held last week because the coaches aren’t voting anymore since the regional brackets are set. But in a week where they’ll play three road games that don’t count for anything, Rowland doesn’t want his team to lose its footing either. They go to No. 3 Bixby tonight.
“I told the girls we have to maintain our edge and to do that we’re going to have to fight our way through this with the same kind of intensity we had that got us to where we were,” Rowland said.
BA (13-7, 8-5), which lost at Muskogee 75-67 on Feb. 1, is in the regional the Lady Roughers host starting a week from Thursday and loom as a potential finals opponent, should the Lady Tigers knock off Sapulpa and Muskogee takes care of business against Moore.
Broken Arrow 68, Muskogee 41
The sixth-ranked Tigers (16-4, 11-2) shot 15-of-26 (58 percent) from the floor in the first half, including 5-of-5 for over five minutes of the second quarter. The Roughers (8-13, 4-8) for the same half were 6-of-24 (25 percent).
It was 34-17 Tigers at the half and all but decided at that point.
Those shooting woes hampered a team playing without starting point guard David Beasley for third consecutive game and freshman Quintahj Cherry, who shared those duties in Friday’s game at Jenks. Beasley is still not cleared after a concussion against these same Tigers on Feb. 1. Cherry was playing with the freshman squad in their conference tournament.
Tramal Ivy had 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead Muskogee, with Anthony King adding 12 points. The cumulative offense from the mix of guards coach Josh Berry threw at the Tigers was 2-of-5 in three quarters of play and 4-of-10 before Broken Arrow emptied bench with 2:10 to go.
MHS shot 35 percent (17-of-48) to the Tigers’ 50 percent (27-of-54).
By both design and force, Berry knew his inside guys had to do more, given the situation.
“Not having David (and his double-digit average) is a big difference but it gives others a chance to step and show they can also play at this level,” Berry said. “We’ve got to do a better job of finishing plays. We missed a lot of open layups and when you don’t take care of the ball, the turnovers lead to a lot of fast-break points for them. They’re a good-shooting team and we didn’t make it too hard on them.”
Muskogee will try and stop a four-game losing streak tonight at Bixby, a team it defeated at home 43-38 in mid-January. The regular season ends at Union on Friday before regionals against Union next week at Stillwater.
“The only thing we can do is get that hard-hat on and keep working and be ready when the time comes,” Berry said.
Jordan Phelps led the Tigers with 16 points.