McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local Sports

February 27, 2014

Know Your Foe: Lady Buffs face Lady Comets in Regionals

(Continued)

McALESTER —

While the forwards have done most of the scoring for Bishop Kelley this season, the Lady Comets also start two seniors in shooting guard Madeline McKenzie and point guard Kristina Ngo. Allison said McKenzie has been the team’s starting shooting guard and “definitely our defensive leader” all season, but multiple players have started at point guard this season.

“We’ve been studying their inbounds play,” Burns said. “We’ve been studying a couple offenses that they run. I think (my girls) see that they can be successful.”

Like the Lady Comets, the Lady Buffs have battled inexperience this season, especially from McAlester’s guards. But while that’s led to just a 7-14 record — though four wins were against 5A schools — Burns said she’s seen definite growth from her team since the season began in early December.

"In the Ardmore game (on Feb. 21), they pressed us the whole time, and I think we had 10 turnovers,” Burns said. “That’s amazing for us. Whenever we started off the year, (we had) like 33, 34.”

Burns added, “We just have to make sure we get past our four, five, six-minute lull where we don’t perform. If you take those breaks in high school basketball, you’re not going to win a lot of games.”

Rebounding, Burns said, will be essential to beat the Lady Comets. Dawkins leads the Lady Buffs with 6.9 points per game, and all of McAlester’s wins this season have seemed to come on nights that featured good Lady Buffs rebounding.

“They do block out, but they don’t necessarily go get the ball,” Burns said of the Lady Comets.

“We have to go in and get some offensive rebounds.”

A win tonight would mean a regional championship against either Collinsville or Nathan Hale on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. A win would also guarantee McAlester a trip to the area tournament and another weekend of games.

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