Carl Albert can't afford for Oklahoma signee Gioya Carter to be out for any length of time.
That was apparent Thursday, as Carter helped the Titans build a lead early, then got in foul trouble before coming back in the second half to help the Class 5A No. 4 Carl Albert to a 46-41 win over Mustang in the first round of the Lady Jag Classic at Westmoore.
“It's no secret that Gioya makes us go,” Carl Albert coach Tim Price said. “She's our heart and soul and she should know better than some of the decisions she was making early.”
Carter had two fouls early in the first quarter, then quickly picked up another when she came back in the second.
With her team trailing at halftime, though, Carter took control in the third, scoring eight of her game-high 19 points to put Carl Albert back ahead.
“It frees everybody else up when she's on the floor,” Price said. “We have good kids, we've just got to play better than that.”
Carl Albert (8-1) plays 6A No. 5 Tulsa Washington at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinals.
Tulsa Washington beat Norman 53-26 in the first round.
“If we don't take care of the ball, we're in major, major trouble against them,” Price said.
Jordan Gilbert had nine, hitting four of her last five free throws after going 1 for 7 from the line until the final seconds of the third.
Mallory Brothers led Mustang with 15 before fouling out midway through the fourth.
SANTA FE CRUISES PAST SAND SPRINGS
Class 6A No. 1 Edmond Santa Fe didn't have any problems with Sand Springs in the opening round of the Skiatook Invitational, beating the Sandites 65-30.
The Wolves (9-1) scored the game's first 18 points, and Sand Springs didn't get on the board until the first minute of the second quarter.
Cameerah Graves and Alexis Cooper had 11 points each and Alaina Cooper added 10.
Santa Fe faces Owasso at 7 p.m. Friday in the semifinals.
Owasso beat Skiatook 58-35 in its first-round game.
COOPER LEADS SHAWNEE
McKenzie Cooper scored 14 points to lead Class 5A No. 1 Shawnee to a 34-29 win over Ponca City in the opening round of the East Central Oklahoma Classic in Ada.
Shawnee (10-1), the No. 2 seed in the tournament, will face either Choctaw or Ada at 7 p.m. Friday in the semifinals.
Class 6A No. 6 Norman North will take on No. 10 Edmond Memorial in the other semifinal at 4 p.m.
Norman North got 15 points from Bri Kuestersteffen and 11 from Tia Williams in a 51-37 win over Stillwater.
The Timberwolves trailed by seven after the first quarter before coming back to take a 20-19 lead by halftime and blew the game open in the third, outscoring the Pioneers 20-8.
PERKINS BLOWS PAST LITTLE AXE
Class 3A No. 2 Perkins got off to an impressive start at the CD Warehouse Classic in Bethel, beating Little Axe 65-21.
Perkins led 21-0 after one quarter and 44-5 at halftime.
Jordan Gorham scored 20 and McKenzie Stanford added 10 in the win.
Perkins (12-0) will face Bridge Creek at 4:20 p.m. Friday in the semifinals.
Bridge Creek beat Newcastle 41-27.
Heritage Hall will face Bethel in the other semifinal at 7 p.m.
MIRES, ROBINSON LEAD CASHION
Taylor Mires and Alix Robinson combined for 48 points as Cashion beat Watonga 54-50 in overtime in the Three Rivers Conference Tournament at Crescent.
Mires scored 25, and Robinson had 23 in the win.
Cashion outscored Watonga 54-50 in overtime.
In other tournament action, Class A No. 1 Okarche blasted Crescent 84-40.
Morgan Vogt had 31, Madison Lee had 20 and Madi Grellner added 16 for Okarche.
Freshman Taleigh Davis and sophomore Sheridan Gray had 14 points each to lead El Reno to a 56-28 win over Star Spencer in the opening round of the MidFirst Warrior Classic in Anadarko. ... Sarah Parker scored 27 in Piedmont's 61-44 win over Bethany in the first round of the Swadley's Bethany Classic. Breanu Reid added 14 and Hayden Priddy added 12 for the Wildcats. ... Lanesia Williams scored 18, Jaelyn Coleman 13 and Maximina Gonzalez 12 in Class 2A No. 1 Northeast's 60-37 win over Jones at the Stroud Invitational. ... Putnam City sophomore Kyra Johnston scored 21 and Jayden Oliver added 18 as the Pirates beat John Marshall 77-43 at the Chickasha Classic.