BETHANY – Lakota Beatty came out battered and bruised, but Anadarko’s title defense lived to see another day.
Beatty, an Oklahoma State signee, played most of the second half with a broken index finger on her shooting hand, but still scored 13 of her 22 points to help No. 1 Anadarko survive No. 11 Vinita 51-45 Thursday in the Class 4A girls state tournament at the Sawyer Center.
But Beatty said she was only really bothered by the finger on free throws. She only made 2 of 4 in the second half.
“My shot felt weird,” she said. “It was no excuse, but my shot did feel weird.”
Anadarko (27-1) awaits the winner of Byng and Mount St. Mary at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Sawyer Center.
The Warriors have now eliminated Vinita (22-9) the last two seasons.
But it wasn’t easy.
This is the first game since Anadarko’s win over Jenks in the Tournament of Champions that is below 10 points.
“It’s tough because we haven’t been in that,” Anadarko coach Jeff Zinn said. “I think that was probably the best thing that could happen for us.”
It took nine lead changes before Anadarko took control with a 9-0 run midway through the fourth. Cara Osceola started the run with a 3-pointer to break a 38-all tie.
Anadarko was just 4-of-25 shooting in the first half, a product of jitters, according to Zinn.
“The first round of the tournament is never one of our best games,” he said.
“Hopefully, we got the butterflies out and are ready to play tomorrow.”
The Hornets, though, did have success attacking Anadarko’s defense, which left Zinn in a foul mood regarding that area of the game.
And Vinita freshman Carsyn Spurgeon was the main reason with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
But Beatty took over in the second half when she was needed, even with the finger injury and a bruised knee she suffered in the second quarter.
“She knew we were in need and we were in desperate need, and that’s when she steps up,” Zinn said. “She just did what we needed her to do.”