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Guthrie's late free throws help Vici knock out Kiowa

By Zach West Modified: February 29, 2008 at 1:19 am •  Published: February 29, 2008
MIDWEST CITY — Hannah Guthrie didn't think she could ever compare to a player like Kiowa's Katy Clift.

Thursday night, the Vici junior found she could do just that — and more.

In a sensational second-half dual, Guthrie outplayed Clift — just barely — by hitting two free throws with 13 seconds left in a Class B girls state quarterfinal, giving her Lady Indians a 52-50 upset over No. 2-ranked Kiowa.

"I refused to lose,” Guthrie said. "I was thinking, ‘I gotta make them.'”

A last-second jumper by Clift hit back iron, and Vici's Jonna Gregory corralled the rebound. After an officials' review determined time had run out, Vici's fans and players erupted in jubilation for a win in the school's first state tournament appearance since 1928.

"It's huge,” Vici coach Travis Templin said. "You saw how many people were in the stands. I don't think there's anybody left in Vici.”

Until the waning moments, the matchup could have gone either way. Clift proved unstoppable by scoring 20 of her 34 points in the second half — including 13 in the third quarter alone — to bring her Cowgirls back from an eight-point halftime deficit.

"She can really play,” Templin said. "I'm glad we don't have to see her for a second game.”

Guthrie matched her shot for shot, however, with 22 of her 28 points coming after halftime. Then she knocked down the game-winning free throws with 13 seconds remaining.

"We don't get a lot of publicity out here, but we've got some players that can play,” Templin said. "(This win) gives the girls confidence that they can beat anybody.”

Kiowa finished the season 27-3.

Mason 35, Seiling 33
Thanks to clutch 3-pointers and defense, Mason's first state basketball tournament appearance in 51 years will include a trip to The Big House. The Lady Eagles, who hadn't been to state since 1957, eight years before The Big House first opened its doors, used a strong second-half comeback to upset Seiling.

"We just kept playing hard,” Mason coach Vernie Thomas said. "We've got as big of a heart as anyone.”

After trailing 18-12 at halftime, Mason's shooters began to find the mark. Senior guard Nessa Tiger led the way with eight of her 10 points in the fourth quarter, including two clutch 3-pointers.

"I just knew I needed to step up,” said Tiger, adding that she never imagined getting to play in The Big House. "It was very important.”

Mason senior forward Keri Rowan added two crucial blocks in the final moments to hold off the Lady Wildcats, who were ranked No.

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Lomega's Britney Geis shoots over Katelynn Morris of Cyril during their Class B tourney game. By NATE BILLINGS, THE OKLAHOMAN


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