High school girls basketball roundup: Deer Creek rallies past Millwood

Fifth-ranked Deer Creek pulled away behind a stingy defense in the second half for a 44-31 victory in the semifinals of the Bethany Classic to set up a matchup with Class 4A No. 5 Harrah.
by Jacob Unruh Published: January 10, 2014
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photo - Deer Creek's Whitney Jones, left, goes past Millwood's Deztinee Gooden during their high school basketball game in the Bethany Classic tournament in Bethany, Okla., Friday, Jan. 10, 2014. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Deer Creek's Whitney Jones, left, goes past Millwood's Deztinee Gooden during their high school basketball game in the Bethany Classic tournament in Bethany, Okla., Friday, Jan. 10, 2014. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Deer Creek coach Totsy Manning had a simple message for her players at halftime Friday afternoon.

Trailing Class 2A No. 1 Millwood by three, Manning wanted her players to hang tough with the physicality of the game.

The fifth-ranked Antlers did that and more, pulling away behind a stingy defense in the second half for a 44-31 victory in the semifinals of the Bethany Classic to set up a matchup with Class 4A No. 5 Harrah.

“I told our players that we've got to step up and be gritty,” Manning said. “We're not going to play dirty, we're not going to play that (physical) style of basketball, we're going to play our style of game, but we're not going to let a team who plays like that beat us because we're warriors.”

To start the third, senior Whitney Jones immediately tied the game with a 3-pointer and ignited an 8-0 run to give the Antlers a lead they never relented.

Millwood was held to just 11 points in the second half, eight of which came in the fourth quarter.

For Jones and the Antlers, the win makes up for losing to the Falcons in the championship of the tournament last season.

“We definitely wanted to prove a point, and I think we did,” said Jones, who finished with 17 points. “I think we were more prepared and I think we came in with a better attitude about it.”

Deer Creek wasn't necessarily prepared for the physicality. But Manning was pleased to beat a well-regarded team like the Falcons.

“We knew they have a lot of respect in this tournament and a lot of respect in the basketball community,” Manning said. “We knew we would have to battle every single possession that we were out here and our girls never backed down.”

HILL CATCHES FIRE, HARRAH PULLS AWAY FROM PIEDMONT

Harrah's Darian Hill wasn't about to let a half-court shot come in the way against Piedmont like it did last season in the Bethany Classic.

Continue reading this story on the...

by Jacob Unruh
Reporter
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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