McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

March 8, 2014

Del City beats Lady Buffs at Area

By Matt Goisman
Sports Writer

McALESTER — McAlester’s girls’ basketball season ended Thursday at Will Rogers in Tulsa, with the Lady Buffaloes falling to the Del City Lady Eagles in the area consolation semifinals, 71-39.

McAlester trailed 12-6 after the first quarter and 30-10 at halftime.

“We were able to cut down on their penetration, but then they started throwing up a bunch of 3s,” Lady Buffs coach April Burns said Friday.

“In the first quarter we were hanging with them. We missed several layups right at the start, and that just takes the wind out of you.”

Burns said that though McAlester committed few turnovers, an inability to hit shots early put the Lady Buffs in too big a hole. The lady Buffs scored 12 points in the third and a solid 17 in the fourth, but by that point the game was effectively over.

“It was a very physical game,” Burns said. “Our girls played their hearts out until the final buzzer.”

Lacey McLain, the team’s leading scorer this season, scored 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Baylee Dawkins, the team’s best rebounder, scored 6 and grabbed four rebounds.

The loss marked the end of high school basketball for seniors Dawkins, McLain, Maddie McGowan and Ariana Garner.

“Baylee and Lacey, they’ve left some big shoes for the underclassmen to fill,” Burns said. “All the seniors, Maddie and Ariana, did.”

Despite ending their season with back-to-back losses by 32 points or more, the Lady Buffs still deserve credit for reaching the second round of the postseason by beating Bishop Kelley in the regional semifinals. Burns said the Lady Buffs may have put so much physical and mental energy into that first playoff game that they didn’t enough left for the regional championship against Collinsville or Thursday’s game.

“I don’t think anyone even expected them to win that first game against Bishop Kelley,” Burns said.

“They’ve really grown as a team, and they were playing their best basketball (at the end). They weren’t hitting their shots, but they were playing as a team, and that’s something a coach always wants to see.”

While McAlester will have to replace two starting forwards in Dawkins and McLain, junior starting forward Shattee Robinson should be back next year, as should starting guards Taylor Compton and April Calistro. Robinson scored 4, grabbed seven rebounds and recorded two assists against Del City.

“We’re going to need some inside people to step up, for sure,” Burns said.

The Lady Buffs finished their season with an 8-17 record.

Contact Matt Goisman at mgoisman@mcalesternews.com.