McALESTER — To advance to the second round of the Class 5A playoffs, the McAlester Buffaloes will have to at least beat the Bishop Kelley Lady Comets in tonight’s regional semifinal at Collinsville at 6:30 p.m.
The Lady Comets were ranked 13th on the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association website as of Wednesday morning. But they also went 6-16 in the regular season — one win fewer than McAlester’s regular-season record.
“I see a lot of similarities in us and McAlester, and I really think it’s going to be a dogfight,” Bishop Kelley coach Jade Allison said Wednesday.
“I really think it’s going to come down to execution and who values possession of the ball the most.”
Like the Lady Buffs, the Lady Comets typically start their games with three forwards on the court. Sophomore small forward Leah Colon leads the team with 10 points per game, while senior power forward Jenny Berry averages 6.
Senior Miranda Rauner rounds out the Kelley frontcourt at center.
“She’s scored some points for us, but her main presence has been defensively,” Allison said of Rauner.
Bishop Kelley’s three forwards will have to battle with McAlester’s trio of Baylee Dawkins (7.3 points per game), Lacey McLain (14.2) and Shattee Robinson (4.6). Allison said on film those three Lady Buffs looked like the ones to stop, with McLain serving as the team’s “go-to” shooter and Robinson looking like someone who “could hurt you.”
“They start three post players, which matches up with what we’re doing, because we’re going to start out three post players,” McAlester coach April Burns said. “And they run a match-up zone (defense), so we’re going to have to look to really attack the paint and go from an inside-out game. And defensively, they really look to attack the high post.”