Carl Albert can't afford for Oklahoma signee Gioya Carter to be out for any length of time.
That was apparent Thursday, as Carter helped the Titans build a lead early, then got in foul trouble before coming back in the second half to help the Class 5A No. 4 Carl Albert to a 46-41 win over Mustang in the first round of the Lady Jag Classic at Westmoore.
“It's no secret that Gioya makes us go,” Carl Albert coach Tim Price said. “She's our heart and soul and she should know better than some of the decisions she was making early.”
Carter had two fouls early in the first quarter, then quickly picked up another when she came back in the second.
With her team trailing at halftime, though, Carter took control in the third, scoring eight of her game-high 19 points to put Carl Albert back ahead.
“It frees everybody else up when she's on the floor,” Price said. “We have good kids, we've just got to play better than that.”
Carl Albert (8-1) plays 6A No. 5 Tulsa Washington at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinals.
Tulsa Washington beat Norman 53-26 in the first round.
“If we don't take care of the ball, we're in major, major trouble against them,” Price said.
Jordan Gilbert had nine, hitting four of her last five free throws after going 1 for 7 from the line until the final seconds of the third.
Mallory Brothers led Mustang with 15 before fouling out midway through the fourth.
SANTA FE CRUISES PAST SAND SPRINGS
Class 6A No. 1 Edmond Santa Fe didn't have any problems with Sand Springs in the opening round of the Skiatook Invitational, beating the Sandites 65-30.
The Wolves (9-1) scored the game's first 18 points, and Sand Springs didn't get on the board until the first minute of the second quarter.
Cameerah Graves and Alexis Cooper had 11 points each and Alaina Cooper added 10.
Santa Fe faces Owasso at 7 p.m. Friday in the semifinals.
Owasso beat Skiatook 58-35 in its first-round game.
COOPER LEADS SHAWNEE
McKenzie Cooper scored 14 points to lead Class 5A No. 1 Shawnee to a 34-29 win over Ponca City in the opening round of the East Central Oklahoma Classic in Ada.