McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

January 3, 2014

Cowgirls host 3-team scrimmage

By Matt Goisman
Sports Writer

KIOWA — The Kiowa Cowgirls hosted the McAlester Lady Buffaloes and Calera Lady Eagles for a basketball scrimmage Friday morning.

The Cowgirls went a combined 7-1 against McAlester and Calera, with Kiowa guard Addy Clift scoring 19 points in Kiowa’s four 10-minute scrimmages against McAlester.

Kiowa, a Class A school, beat McAlester (5A) 9-4, 14-5, 11-9 and 11-6. Kiowa beat Calera, a Class 2A school, 25-11, 13-11 and 14-7, but also lost once to Calera, 17-12.

McAlester went 3-1 against Calera, winning 15-8, 14-4 and 5-2, but also losing once 12-10.

“Going against Addy Clift and Miranda (Stiles), you can’t ask for two better guards to go against,” McAlester coach April Burns said.

“I wish we could go against them every single day.”

Burns said the Lady Buffs came into the scrimmage hoping to focus on their ball movement and inside-out offense. McAlester’s forwards looked strong in all four scrimmages against Kiowa, with Lacey McLain leading her team with 6 points, and Baylee Dawkins and Shattee Robinson each scoring 2 more.

“We did not want to just come out and start shooting from the 3-point line,” Burns said. “We wanted to go inside first, and then come out. And I think for the most part, we were about 90 percent successful on that.”

McLain’s layup put McAlester up 2-0 in the first scrimmage against Kiowa, then a steal turned into a basket from Taylor Compton to make it 4-0. Compton scored 4 against the Cowgirls, also knocking down a jumper in the third scrimmage.

“She’s going to be great, and she has to quit beating herself down so much,” Burns said.

“We’ve been working on that over the break, talking to her about her confidence, (telling) her to not worry about making mistakes.”

A fastbreak layup from Erin Foris cut McAlester’s lead to 4-2, then Tori Gillispie sank a layup for Kiowa to tie the game. Tara Mabray’s deflection turned into another fastbreak basket for Kiowa, then Foris’ 3-pointer sealed the 9-4 win for the Cowgirls in the first scrimmage.

Having just returned from an ankle injury suffered during the spring slowpitch softball season, Mabray provided the Cowgirls with both leadership and energy, especially whenever starting guards Clift and Miranda Stiles rested. Mabray forced several turnovers with feisty defense, snuck inside box-outs for multiple rebounds and looked unfazed bringing the ball up the court and finding open shooters.

“She can post up, play the guard spot,” Cowgirls coach Wade Daniel said of Mabray. “She’s pretty versatile.”

Daniel added that because Mabray has just played one game this season, she’s nine games behind in terms of conditioning.

“We just need to get out there and play. That’s what I love about scrimmages: You can mix ‘em up, change ‘em up and just get time on that floor.”

Dawkins’ basket off a pass from McLain put McAlester up 2-0 in the second scrimmage, but Clift tied it with a jumper, then Madi Slawson drained a layup to put Kiowa up 4-2. April Calistro’s 3-pointer made it 5-4 Lady Buffs, but Clift knocked down Kiowa’s last four shots — two from behind the 3-point line — to give Kiowa the 14-5 win.

Four different Lady Buffs scored in the third scrimmage and the Lady Buffs led most of the game, but Clift hit a 3-pointer late to win that one as well.

“Addy, literally the moment she crosses the halfcourt line, you have to watch for her, because she can score at ease,” Burns said. “If you give her just a little inch, she’s going to score on you.”

A 3-pointer from Slawson and two from Stiles gave Kiowa a 9-2 lead in the final scrimmage, and the Cowgirls held on to finish the sweep. Stiles scored 8 points against McAlester, all of which came in the fourth scrimmage.

“We’ve been having a little bit of trouble scoring, and today (we) came out a little fresher and shot the ball pretty well,” Daniel said.

“We kind of got out of running the fastbreak, and so we wanted to get back to doing some things that you kind of just drift away from.”

McAlester played Idabel at the Savage Classic in Broken Bow on Saturday. Both the Buffs and Lady Buffs will spend this week in Muskogee at the Bedouin Shrine Classic, which starts Monday.

“It’s a great tournament,” Burns said of the Classic. “Something that’s fun to go to. It’s close. It’s easy for all our fans to get to.”

Kiowa plays conference opponent Indianola on Tuesday. The Cowboys and Cowgirls then head to Holdenville on Thursday for the Moss Tournament.

Contact Matt Goisman at mgoisman@mcalesternews.com.