BETHANY — After Bethany finished off a 70-58 win over Blanchard to clinch the regular-season conference championship on Friday, Bronchos senior guard Grace Hadley walked out of the locker room to find her mom waiting for her.
“Grace, do you know how many you had?” Phylis Hadley asked her daughter.
“I think about 20 or 25,” Grace answered.
“No, you had 36,” her mom told her.
The point total was a career high for Hadley, who scored 26 earlier in the week in a win over Purcell.
For her performances last week, Hadley is The Oklahoman's Girls High School Basketball Player of the Week.
“I didn't think it'd be that big of a game for me personally,” Hadley said. “I was just focused on getting out of there with a win since Blanchard's always such a tough place to play.”
Hadley has had to play an even greater role in Bethany's scoring in recent weeks after another of its top players tore her anterior cruciate ligament just after Christmas break.
“The way we've played since then just proves how deep we are and motivated we are to find different ways to win,” Hadley said. “Through the offense that Coach (Jared) Black has been able to use this year, we've been able to do that.”
The offense gives Bethany — and especially Hadley — plenty of freedom to improvise.
But it also demands plenty from the players.
“You can rely more on instincts,” Hadley said. “It opens up the game so much where we have to read off each other and read more defenses instead of running set plays.
“I love the offense and love what Coach Black has done this year with it.”
Coming off her career-best performance, Hadley and the Bronchos get a tough challenge Tuesday when they play at Class 5A No. 7 Piedmont.
Piedmont beat Bethany 61-44 in the opening round of the SNU/Bethany Classic last month.
“It's a huge measuring stick for us,” Hadley said. “It will show us how far we've come in the last month. To be able to go up against a team like that that made the state tournament in 4A last year and is one of the best teams in 5A will tell us a lot about ourselves.
“It'll give us a baseline to see where we're at as we get closer to the playoffs.”
The Class 4A No. 14 Bronchos will need it, with No. 3 Weatherford, No. 5 Mount St. Mary and No. 11 Heritage Hall in their area come playoff time.