McALESTER — Four free throws.
That’s all the scoring the Frink-Chambers Lady Falcons allowed in the first half.
Switching between fullcourt and halfcourt offense, the Lady Falcons completely shut down the Brushy Lady Mountaineers, leading to a dominating 49-16 win in Saturday’s first-round game of the Organization of Rural Elementary Schools area tournament at Frink’s Doy Adams Gymnasium in McAlester.
Frink-Chambers plays Woodall in the area championship tonight at 7 p.m., also at Frink.
“We do everything off defense,” Frink-Chambers coach Kris Mitchell said.
“If we can cause enough havoc, cause the turnovers, get the steals and go score, then we don’t have to set up any offense.”
Carlee Eaton scored off the opening tip for Frink-Chambers, and the Lady Falcons immediately went into their 1-3-1 press. Swarming Brushy’s ball-handlers in the backcourt, the Lady Falcons produced turnovers on Brushy’s first four possessions of the game.
Taryn Howard came away with Frink’s first steal of the game, then took a pass from Carly Cox and knocked down a 3-pointer. Sydney Shelton got Frink’s next steal, then Tyrah Erving scored off an offensive rebound.
Howard came up with Frink’s third steal, eventually getting it to Eaton for a 9-0 lead.
The Lady Mountaineers’ very frustrated guards finally moved the ball across the halfcourt line on their fifth possession, but they couldn’t score despite grabbing an offensive rebound. Shelton grabbed the defensive board after Brushy’s second miss, took it coast-to-coast and scored.
Howard later knocked down another 3-pointer, then the Lady Falcons resumed their defensive onslaught. Eaton came away with a steal, Shelton drew a foul off the fastbreak and sank both free throws for a 16-0 lead.
“We see what they do, and we react,” Mitchell said.
“We noticed that they couldn’t really get up and down the floor, and their ball-handling wasn’t as good as some of the teams that we’ve faced.”
A free throw from Amber Black finally got Brushy on the board with 2:16 left in the first, but Howard answered immediately, putting back an offensive rebound. Howard then stole back-to-back passes, the first of which led to a fastbreak bucket from Erving lead.
Howard ended the first quarter with a deflection that Cox turned into a fastbreak layup and a 22-1 lead.
“They were all over us, and we’re not quite used to that yet,” Brushy coach Greg McCoy said.
“When they attacked us, we kind of went into a little shell.”
The Lady Falcons could’ve stuck with their 1-3-1 for the entire game. But with the game basically over after the first six minutes, Mitchell switched to a halfcourt defense in the second quarter.
The new defense didn’t bother the Lady Falcons one bit, as Cox stole a pass and then grabbed a deflection on Brushy’s first two possessions of the second.
Cox scored on the fastbreak both times to put Frink-Chambers up 26-1.
Makayla Cole’s free throw ended the Lady Falcons’ 10-0 run, but they simply went on another. Erin Kelley hit a jump shot, Brooklyn Slater scored off an offensive rebound, Lynnsey Davis scored off a pass from Howard, then Kelley scored twice off steals for a 36-2 lead.
Brushy ended the first half with its first solid defensive moment, with Cole picking off a pass that later sent Katelyn Baggs to the foul line. Baggs made both free throws, but by that point the score had become so lopsided that the clock ran nonstop — other than for an injury timeout — through the entire second half.
Howard and Eaton each scored 8 for Frink-Chambers, and Cox and Kelley each scored 6. By the end of the game Mitchell had subbed in her entire bench, getting at least 2 points from 10 different Lady Falcons.
“It’s like, let’s get as much pressure and as many points as we can, and that way everybody gets a lot of playing time,” Mitchell said.
“All 14 girls got on the floor. ... One game this year, we had everybody on the team score, so that makes it even better.”
Amber Black led Brushy with 7 points.
With the win, Frink-Chambers improved to 14-1. Brushy fell to 10-7 and plays Lukfata in the area consolation semifinal tonight at 5 p.m.
Contact Matt Goisman at email@example.com.