CHOCTAW — Third-ranked Vinita had already seen Jay twice this season.
The Hornets won the first two matchups but knew Thursday's Class 4A girls quarterfinals would be the toughest to date.
A key steal by senior Terri Markham with less than 10 seconds remaining sealed a 61-56 victory for Vinita to set up a semifinals matchup with No. 2 Anadarko.
“They pride their self in defense and making plays,” Vinita coach Scott Reed said. “And it got tight; we got a little impatient in our offense late and kind of let them crawl back in.
“That's kind of what those seniors have been doing their whole career: When it gets crunchtime, one of them tends to step up and make a play. At that instance right there was Terri Markham right there in front of their bench.”
Fellow senior Caitlyn Spurgeon also delivered a monster performance, something she credits to “rebounding and just playing intense.”
Spurgeon finished with 33 points and 17 rebounds
“Man, she's been doing that stuff for four years for us and there's no reason for her to quit now” Reed said. “She came out and battled on the boards, I know she was worn out, kept taking it to the hole, she did a lot of good things for us. “
Vinita (25-3) led 56-58 with less than two minutes remaining before Jay started fighting back.
Baylee Tanner's putback made it a six-point game, Megan Ritters' 3-pointer then made it a 3-point game with 1:26 remaining.
But Spurgeon made two free throws for a five-point advantage. Another trey from Tanner made it interesting before Markham's crucial steal.
“We just played our butts off,” Spurgeon said. “They know us, we know them. It was just whoever was going to come out and play tonight.”
Ritter finished with 18 points and Tanner added 17 for Jay, which ends the season at 19-10.