MIDWEST CITY — Hannah Guthrie didn't think she could ever compare to a player like Kiowa's Katy Clift. Thursday night, the Vici junior found she could do just that — and more. In a sensational second-half dual, Guthrie outplayed Clift — just barely — by hitting two free throws with 13 seconds left in a Class B girls state quarterfinal, giving her Lady Indians a 52-50 upset over No. 2-ranked Kiowa. "I refused to lose,” Guthrie said. "I was thinking, ‘I gotta make them.'” A last-second jumper by Clift hit back iron, and Vici's Jonna Gregory corralled the rebound. After an officials' review determined time had run out, Vici's fans and players erupted in jubilation for a win in the school's first state tournament appearance since 1928. "It's huge,” Vici coach Travis Templin said. "You saw how many people were in the stands. I don't think there's anybody left in Vici.” Until the waning moments, the matchup could have gone either way. Clift proved unstoppable by scoring 20 of her 34 points in the second half — including 13 in the third quarter alone — to bring her Cowgirls back from an eight-point halftime deficit. "She can really play,” Templin said. "I'm glad we don't have to see her for a second game.” Guthrie matched her shot for shot, however, with 22 of her 28 points coming after halftime. Then she knocked down the game-winning free throws with 13 seconds remaining. "We don't get a lot of publicity out here, but we've got some players that can play,” Templin said. "(This win) gives the girls confidence that they can beat anybody.” Kiowa finished the season 27-3.
Mason 35, Seiling 33Thanks to clutch 3-pointers and defense, Mason's first state basketball tournament appearance in 51 years will include a trip to The Big House. The Lady Eagles, who hadn't been to state since 1957, eight years before The Big House first opened its doors, used a strong second-half comeback to upset Seiling. "We just kept playing hard,” Mason coach Vernie Thomas said. "We've got as big of a heart as anyone.” After trailing 18-12 at halftime, Mason's shooters began to find the mark. Senior guard Nessa Tiger led the way with eight of her 10 points in the fourth quarter, including two clutch 3-pointers. "I just knew I needed to step up,” said Tiger, adding that she never imagined getting to play in The Big House. "It was very important.” Mason senior forward Keri Rowan added two crucial blocks in the final moments to hold off the Lady Wildcats, who were ranked No. 3. In a sloppy game filled with turnovers and missed shots by both teams, Mason made fewer mistakes — but not by much. Seiling had several opportunities in the waning seconds to tie or take the lead. With 2:39 left in the fourth quarter, Tiger fouled out, too. "I was a little worried about that,” Coach Thomas said. "They like to give me some gray hairs.” Although Mason won, the Lady Eagles struggled to match up with Seiling junior post Joscelyn Tapaha, who finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds. Seiling finished the season 23-4.
Sentinel 44, Varnum 26Tamara Brown picked a great time to have her best half ever. With a trip to The Big House on the line, Brown scored 22 second-half points to lead Sentinel to an upset of Varnum. Brown finished with 27 points and added nine rebounds. "The shots were not falling in the first half,” Brown said. "I had to get my feet squared and my shoulders facing the basket.” Her second-half barrage came on a variety of lay-ups, jump shots and 3-pointers, as Brown proved to be too physical for any single defender. "It came in a good game,” said Brown, who couldn't recall a better half. "It feels great.” It was a disappointing end to Varnum's season. The Whippets finished with the most wins in school history (25-3), and beat defending champion Lomega by 20 to win its first area championship. Kodi Morrison led Varnum with 11 points.
Lomega 46, Cyril 33Lomega coach Kevin Lewallen expected a tough game out of Cyril, and a tough game is what he got. Behind a raucous crowd, the Pirates put up a quite a fight in their first state tournament appearance ever, hanging with Class B defending state champ Lomega for three quarters before losing 46-33. "It's by far the most physical game we've played all year,” Lewallen said. "The refs were letting them play on both ends.” Kylie Castonguay and Hillary Winter combined for 29 points and 14 rebounds for the Raiders, who were only ahead by one point at halftime. Freshman Shelbi Stallings and sophomore Cassidy Boggs had 10 points apiece for Cyril, which finished 25-3 on the season — a school record in wins. The Pirates also won their first regional and area titles. "I thought they were as good as anybody in it,” Lewallen said.
Lomega's Britney Geis shoots over Katelynn Morris of Cyril during their Class B tourney game. By NATE BILLINGS, THE OKLAHOMAN