Edmond Santa Fe has found its lockdown defender.
And with Choctaw freshman Ana Llanusa scoring almost at will in the first half Tuesday night, the Wolves needed an answer.
Santa Fe coach Paul Bass looked to sophomore Aahliyah Jackson to slow down Llanusa in the third quarter, and it worked brilliantly.
The second-ranked Wolves turned a 25-23 halftime deficit into a 65-45 rout of the fifth-ranked Yellowjackets.
“She was scoring left and right, so I was like, ‘Coach, let me guard her. I can do it,'” the 5-foot-10 Jackson said. “So they put me on her, and I took her out.”
Llanusa scored 26 points, 13 in each half, but her second-half points came in a much more sporadic time frame than in the first half for Choctaw (17-5).
It took her nearly two minutes to score in the second half, and then she was held scoreless until 1:21 remained in the third quarter after Jackson had gone to the bench. Santa Fe led 42-31 at that point.
“We decided to put a bigger guard on her,” Bass said. “It's a little bit different when you've got a bigger, stronger person on you and more physical. (Jackson) frustrated her to death on that.”
Jackson finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds, while senior Tamara Lee scored 27.
It was Lee's two quick 3-pointers to open the third that gave the Wolves (17-1) confidence and the lead for good.
MIDWEST CITY HOLDS OFF NORMAN NORTH
Looking to take control early, Midwest City did just that by building a 34-23 halftime lead against Norman North.
It was the second half that got interesting for the fourth-ranked Bombers, as they held off a furious charge by the seventh-ranked Timberwolves for a 55-50 victory.
Midwest City was held to just seven points in the third quarter to enter the final quarter clinging to a 41-38 lead before doing just enough to hold on for the win.
Sophomore Asia Davis led the Bombers with 13 points, while Oral Roberts signee Jasauen Beard scored 11.
Junior Haley Woodard led Norman North with 18 points, while sophomore Alexa Scott added 15 and senior Bri Kuestersteffen scored 10.
YUKON KNOCKS OFF PUTNAM CITY NORTH
No. 9 Yukon is playing well at the right time. The Millers got 22 points from Audrey Hayes in a 59-38 rout of Putnam City North, a team that has now lost two of its last four games.
Yukon now has a good amount of momentum heading into a big matchup with No. 5 Choctaw on Friday and with regionals against Westmoore looming next week at Choctaw.
Maci Exum also scored 17 points for Yukon. Sidney Carolina led the Panthers with 10 points.
Mustang's Brooke Irwin continued her recent run of strong play, posting 20 points and 13 rebounds in a 48-28 win at Putnam City West. ... Serithia Hawkins is returning to form following an elbow injury, this time scoring 21 points in Southmoore's 50-37 win against Norman. ... Four players scored in double figures as El Reno routed Duncan 60- 25. ... Piedmont's stellar shooting continued with 10 players scoring in double figures, including 16 from Bre Reid and 12 from Hayden Priddy, in a 64-32 rout of Guthrie. ... Tulsa signee Erika Wakefield dropped 21 points in Heritage Hall's 50-38 win against Centennial. ... Kaelynn Davis' 23 points led Jones to a 52-38 win against Tuttle, which got 16 points from Shelby Carel.