Even with bronchitis and a sinus infection, Shawnee's McKenzie Cooper wasn't going to miss a second game against Deer Creek.
The Wolves' senior missed the Class 5A championship game last season against the Antlers with a knee injury, only to watch Deer Creek win the gold ball.
Tuesday, she got her redemption with 17 points and five rebounds in top-ranked Shawnee's 30-23 win against the fifth-ranked Antlers in Deer Creek's new Performing Arts and Athletic Center.
“It's something you don't forget about for sure, especially not getting to play,” Cooper said. “It had a big part of the way I wanted to play and come out and prove a point and show them that it may have not been so easy last year.”
Cooper had not practiced in three days while battling her illnesses, though that was never really evident.
She scored the final six points — all on free throws — for the Wolves (6-0) and also scored five points in the second quarter despite battling fatigue.
“It was a challenge and it was a really good game for us to come out and get a win,” Cooper said.
Shawnee junior Bailey Taylor, who was also battling an illness, scored seven points.
Deer Creek (5-3) was without starter Bayli Blanchard due to an ankle injury she suffered in Monday's practice, but junior Dakota Vann scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Neither team, though, played exceptionally well. Shawnee made just 10 of 38 shots, while Deer Creek made 8 of 34.
“It just looked like both teams were really tired and it seemed like both teams had a hard time getting into it,” Shawnee coach Wendi Wells said. “It was just a hard game for anybody to really get going in.”