When the Oktaha Lady Tigers faced the pressure of a big deficit, they remained calm, worked themselves back into the game and took a lead.
When the Hartshorne Lady Miners faced the pressure of Oktaha’s comeback, they never recovered.
The Lady Tigers used a dominant second quarter to erase a 9-point Hartshorne lead, then dominated the second half to beat the Lady Miners, 73-52, in Wednesday’s semifinal of the Hartshorne Pick & Shovel Classic at Taylor Gymnasium.
Hartshorne’s tournament continues today against Antlers in the third-place game at 4:30 p.m. Oktaha plays Wilburton in the championship today at 5:45.
“You have to go through some growing pains when you’re young,” Hartshorne coach Danny Stone said. “We have two kids that have a lot of varsity experience, and the rest of them were freshmen, JV (players) last year. So they’re having to grow up quick.”
Down 23-14 early in the second quarter, Oktaha went on a 19-5 run to swing the momentum back the Lady Tigers’ way. Kelsey Cantwell hit two free throws, then Bailey Campbell sank an offensive rebound to make it 23-18 Hartshorne.
A free throw from Haley Baldridge cut the deficit to 4, then Cantwell found Shea Lynch for a 3-pointer that made it a 1-point game. Hartshorne guard Sam Horne finally ended Oktaha’s run with a layup, but free throws from Garren Yandell and Jaylie Roper kept it a 1-point game, then Yandell grabbed a loose ball and scored, putting Oktaha up 26-25.
“At first, they just were constantly looking for Jaylie,” Oktaha coach Chester Pittman said.
“No sync, no ball-movement. Once they kind of cut loose, our pressure lets us go up and down the floor a little bit.”
Following a Harthsorne turnover, Baldridge sank two free throws. After another Hartshorne turnover, Baldridge connected with Cantwell, who knocked down a jump-shot to make it 30-25 Oktaha.