NORMAN — Early in the season, Bishop McGuinness girls coach Shawn Clark told freshman Gabby Grubb he didn’t need her to be great … yet.
“March is when I need you,” Clark told her.
Grubb came off the bench to score a career-high 18 points Saturday at Norman High School in the Irish’s 64-49 win over No. 3 Deer Creek.
Bishop McGuinness (21-6) now advances to the Class 5A state tournament, where it will defend its 2011 championship.
“It’s awesome,” Grubb said of Saturday’s game. “The team just really pulled it together and played our best.”
Saturday’s win paints a stark contrast to where this team was just two and a half months ago.
On Dec. 16, McGuinness played the Antlers in the Deer Creek Festival and lost 53-38. Senior forward Elyse Hight scored 30 of her team’s points that night.
Hight still led the team Saturday with 20 and 10 rebounds, but she got much more help than she was getting early.
The senior said part of her team’s growth throughout the year had to do with her 10-game absense in the middle of the year with a hip injury.
“A lot of girls had to step up, and I think that helped us,” Hight said. “It helped a lot of girls get their confidence up.”
Not the least of which was Grubb, who has been waiting all year for an opportunity like she got Saturday.
And largely because of her contribution, the Irish will get a shot at back-to-back titles.
“It feels like everything is coming together,” Hight said. “They’d better be ready for us at state.”