BETHANY — Mount St. Mary junior Kaely Bond knew her team had what it took to knock off No. 1 Anadarko in the semifinals of the Class 4A state basketball tournament.
Bond's belief in her team showed as the junior scored 19 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Rockets in a 51-39 upset victory on Friday.
Her confidence was a result of what the team had accomplished just four days earlier when Mount St. Mary overcame a four-point deficit in the final 20 seconds to stun Heritage Hall in the area tournament finals.
“That comeback showed us there is something special about this team,” Bond said. “We all really love each other and that shows in the way we play together. After everything that's happened to get here, I knew we could come in and play with Anadarko and beat them.”
Mount St. Mary coach Rory Hamilton also believes the comeback win was a sign that the Rockets have what it takes to beat anyone.
“After coming back on Monday night, we talked about maybe being a team of destiny,” Hamilton said. “These girls started to believe that we can beat anybody. A large part of tonight was that belief in what we are capable of. It allowed us to not be intimidated by Anadarko.”
Anadarko never trailed in the first half but had only a 17-13 halftime lead. Mount St. Mary used a 17-point third quarter to tie the game at 30 heading into the final period.
It was all Mount St. Mary (25-5) the rest of the way. The Rockets opened the final quarter on a 9-2 run that included five straight points from sophomore Adrienne Berry, who finished with 12.
The early fourth-quarter run would give Mount St. Mary the lead for good as it knocked down 7 of 8 free throws the rest of the way to seal the upset. The Rockets outscored Anadarko (27-2) by 16 points in the second half.
Junior guard Aimee Rischard added 11 points for the Rockets.
Anadarko star Lakota Beatty, an Oklahoma State signee, was limited to just nine points as she struggled to hit shots while playing with a broken index finger on her shooting hand. Senior Kelia Pachoddy led the Warriors with 12 points.
Mount St. Mary advances to play Fort Gibson for the Class 4A state championship Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at State Fair Arena.