MOORE — Alva point guard Jaden Hobbs understands it's win or go home, even though she's only a freshman.
Hobbs — who said she had sisters and cousins who played in the state tournament — ignored a rolled right ankle, played through the pain and led Alva to a 53-45 victory against Colbert in the Goldbugs' opening game of the Class 2A girls basketball state tournament on Thursday at Westmoore High School.
“I've been here before,” Hobbs said.
Not literally, but her family members explained to her how to play in a state tournament game — and Alva coach Eric Smith said she's played a lot of basketball to get to this point. Hobbs had 26 points, including 16 in the third and fourth quarters combined.
“She's done it all year,” Smith said.
But it took more than just Hobbs' points to get to the victory. Smith said he was proud of his team's defense, especially in the second half.
“We had better defensive pressure,” he said.
Alva started off giving Colbert's Ginavee Mowles a lot of room to hit 3-pointers, and when they did, Mowles knocked them down. She had three in the first two quarters, including back-to-back 3-pointers to open the game.
It was a tight ballgame — with both teams having a streak of missed shots but then other streaks of making everything they shot — until the third quarter, when at 27-24, Alva's Bailey Forell hit a jumper off the right side and started a 13-2 Goldbug run to end the third and go up 37-29.
The Goldbugs opened the fourth quarter with a layup and one made free throw. Colbert didn't score until 4:34 remained in the game, when Katherine Hair hit two shots at the free-throw line. Hair led all Colbert scorers with 14 points.
In the fourth quarter, Hair and Hobbs were the only two to score for their teams — mostly from the line for Hair and off the glass for Hobbs — until Colbert's Bailee Weger hit a basket with 2:17 remaining.
Despite rolling her ankle at about the same time, Hobbs continued to play, getting fouled four times in the game's final 1:22. She went 7-of-8 in that stretch and scored 14 points in just the fourth quarter.
“It's an injury,” she said about playing through the pain. “It's tape it up and play tomorrow.”