The Millwood girls team wore purple ribbons in their hair, gray socks on their feet and wrote inspirational messages on their basketball shoes in memory of teammate Karisma Taylor, who died Feb. 1.
Taylor, a member of Millwood's freshman team, had asthma and was rushed to a hospital last month after having difficulty breathing during warm-ups of a freshman game. She fell into a coma and died four days later.
Purple was Taylor's favorite color, said Millwood freshman point guard Nykiah Hines. Gray is often a color used to promote asthma awareness, so the team decided to wear the gray socks in addition to the purple hair ribbons, said Falcons' coach Arnelia Spears.
Senior guard Teanna Reid wrote "R.I.P. Karisma" on her shoes. "We think about her all the time," she said.
DOUGLASS' CLARK SEVENTH ALL-TIME SCORER
Stephen Clark's 16 points Thursday upped his career total to 3,236 points, now in seventh place all-time in Oklahoma boys basketball.
The current all-time scoring leaders in state history are: Rotnei Clarke, Verdigris, 3,758; Keiton Page, Pawnee, 3,709; Ty Harman, Maud, 3,639; Kelenna Azubuike, Victory Christian, 3,530; Dalen Qualls, Stratford, 3,290; Lane Adams, Red Oak, 3,251; Stephen Clark, Douglass, 3,236; Kenneth Johnson, Grandfield, 3,191.
OU COMMITMENT DUNGEE, PRESTON ELIMINATED
Preston freshman Chelsea Dungee's team was knocked from the tournament Wednesday by unbeaten Northeast.
Dungee verbally committed to Oklahoma women's basketball and Sherri Coale in early February, according to her mother.
Against Northeast, the 5-foot-11 freshman was extremely aware of her court surroundings and led Preston with eight points.
Dungee is rated among the nation's top players, per ESPN's HoopGurlz recruiting rankings. As an eighth grader, Dungee committed to Oklahoma State.
In Nov. 2011, Cowgirls head coach Kurt Budke and assistant Miranda Serna tragically passed away in an airplane crash.
FORT GIBSON PRACTICES WITH BOYS PLAYERS
At the urging of assistant coach Chuck London, the Fort Gibson girls spent the early part of the week practicing with three of the school's boys basketball players.
It was an idea on how to combat the height and length of No. 5 Weatherford, and it worked to near perfection Thursday as the second-ranked Tigers pulled away for the 59-46 victory, and limited 6-foot-1 junior Chandler Roof to just seven points.
“Because we had to work against boys who were quick and physical and long, which we knew (the Weatherford girls) were, it gave us a chance to work against that,” Ft. Gibson coach Jerry Walker said. “So when we got to (Weatherford), those lanes were there.
The Tigers used Brandon Walker, McKenna Terrell and Austin Gasaway in zone defenses during practice.
At first, it didn't go well for the girls, but they adjusted.
“When they first got there we weren't making good passing decisions,” senior Brooke Palmer said. “So it helped us slow down and make better decisions altogether.”
Weatherford's smallest starter is junior Macy Stark, who is 5-foot-7.
SHIVE LEADS CHOUTEAU IN UPSET WIN
Senior Jason Couch hit the game-winner in Chouteau's 53-52 upset victory over Ketchum, but it was fellow senior Jordon Shive that made Couch's shot possible.
Shive led Chouteau with 19 points, including an impressive fade away 3-pointer to beat the second quarter buzzer to cut the Ketchum lead to four.
"Jordon kept us in the game the whole way," Chouteau coach Travis Wheeler said. "At the end we were able to get everyone rolling, but up to that point it was Jordon that kept us in it. The 3 he hit was huge. It really gave us a lot of momentum."
DALE'S ROWDY PIRATES
The Dale Pirates student section screamed, yelled, and did what a majority of student sections do — and then some.
They chanted, they danced — and they were what their shirts said they were: “Outrageous.”
Dale's students wore shirts made by one of the team managers' mothers. The shirts said “Outrageous” in white and “Yes” in red, followed by “Out Rage Us” in white and “Never” in red.
TIPOFF DELAYED AT OCU
The opening game at Oklahoma City University's Abe Lemons Arena between Latta and Talihina was delayed just before tipoff as a fan was being taken by paramedics from the arena to the hospital.
OSSAA officials said the man, who was from Talihina, temporarily lost consciousness but was able to communicate and walk on his own before leaving the arena. He was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons.
LATE ARRIVAL DOESN'T STOP MCLAIN
Getting to the gym turned out to be as complicated as winning the game for Tulsa McLain Thursday.
The team bus got stuck in traffic coming over from its hotel, which was located near State Fair Arena, and the team walked onto the court for pregame warm-ups 15 minutes before tipoff.
The Titans looked lethargic at times in the first half, and trailed Anadarko virtually all day before rallying for a 40-38 win.
“You could tell at the beginning, but we picked up the intensity level after halftime, after I chewed them out a little bit,” Love said.