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.”
EAVES LIFTS SOUTHMOORE IN OT
Freshman Haley Eaves buried a deep 3-pointer with 3.7 seconds remaining to lift No. 3 Southmoore over No. 17 Westmoore 59-58 in overtime and keep the SaberCats undefeated.
Southmoore (7-0) battled back from a five-point deficit with less than a minute remaining after squandering a lead late in the fourth quarter that forced overtime.
Serithia Hawkins led the SaberCats with a game-high 29 points, while Eaves finished with six points.
Westmoore's Ashley Gomez scored 22 points.
SOUTHMOORE TOPS WESTMOORE IN 2OT
Following overtime in the girls' game, Southmoore and Westmoore attempted to top that with a double-overtime boys thriller in which No. 17 Southmoore fought off No. 18 Westmoore 77-70.
Behind Preston Smith, the SaberCats pulled away in the final overtime, but getting there wasn't easy.
Southmoore's Justin Bean forced the second extra quarter with a tip-in with just 4.2 seconds left in the first overtime, erasing a go-ahead, 3-point play by Westmoore's Tripp Fuller with 27.3 seconds remaining.
Bean finished with 24 points.
MEMORIAL EDGES MOORE
Kristian Doolittle scored 22 points as Class 6A defending champion Edmond Memorial held off No. 18 Moore 60-56 despite a furious charge in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs held a 49-42 lead after three quarters, but found a way to hold off Dante Butler and the Lions. Butler finished with 16 points.
Memorial used a big third — outscoring Moore 21-10 — to take the lead at the end of the quarter.