12-22 Sports - Okm.qxp_Layout 1 12/20/17 11:12 AM Page 1
Okmulgee Times, Friday, December 22, 2017
Lady Dogs edge Millwood in thriller Bulldogs sputter in fourth period to drop first-half finale By LARRY OWEN Times Sports Editor
OKMULGEE - Okmulgee sophomore Destiny Jordan knocked down the best shot of her short high school basketball career here this past Tuesday evening. With the Lady Bulldogs trailing 44-43 with 17.3 seconds remaining against the Class 3A No. 14 Millwood Lady Falcons, Angel Collins snared a defensive rebound on a missed free throw. Collins then delivered a pass to Sahmeya King. King then found Jordan in the right corner of the Okmulgee side of the court. Jordan then put up a shot attempt from 3-point range. Jordan's 3-point heave fell through the basket with 10.6 seconds left to give the Lady Bulldogs the lead at 46-44. After a Millwood timeout with 7.9 seconds remaining, the Okmulgee defense denied the Lady Falcons an opportunity to get off a shot attempt before the buzzer sounded, giving the host Lady Bulldogs the thrilling 46-44 victory over a Top 15 opponent. The thrilling victory sends the Okmulgee ladies into the Christmas Break with a 6-2 record. In the nightcap, the Bulldogs were unable to find their offense in the final eight minutes of regulation, falling to the visiting eighth-ranked Falcons by a 41-38 margin. The 3-point loss evens the 11th-ranked Bulldogs' season record at 4-4 heading into the break. The next scheduled action for the Lady Bulldogs will be January 4 when they begin competition at the annual Henryetta Invitational Basketball Tournament. The Bulldogs will return to the hardwood January 5 at the Henryetta Tournament and will battle for a spot in the tournament title game after receiving a first-round bye in the 7-team tournament. Following the Henryetta Tournament, the Okmulgee squads will host Okemah January 9, travel to Sperry January 12, and host Catoosa January 13 before beginning participation at the annual Muscogee (Creek) Nation Okmulgee County Basketball Tournament January 15-20 in Okmulgee. In Tuesday's thrilling girls game at historic Brock Memorial Gymnasium, the Lady Bulldogs trailed 11-8 after one and 26-17 at halftime. A basket by King in the third period kicked off the Lady Bulldogs' comeback bid and sparked an 8-0 run that cut the Millwood lead to one, 26-25. The Lady Falcons ended the Okmulgee run at the 4:52 mark of the third quarter with a pair of made free throws. Back-to-back baskets by Tierney Gardner gave the Lady Bulldogs their first lead since leading 16-11 in the second quarter at 29-28 with 2:31 left in the third. Millwood took a 30-29 advantage into the final frame after a made basket with 1:25 left in the third quarter. The visitors led by five, 35-30, early in the final stanza, then the host Lady Bulldogs used a 7-2 run to knot the score at 37-35 with 4:37 left in regulation. The game-tying score came on a layup by McKenzie James. Millwood tallied the next seven points for a 44-37 advantage with about two minutes remaining in regulation. A pair of made free throws by James at the 1:40 mark began the thrilling comeback for the Lady Bulldogs. James converted another 1-and-1 situation at 1:06 to make it a
Okmulgee’s Katie McKinney (42) shoots over the outstretched hand of a Millwood defender during Tuesday’s firsthalf finale at historic Brock Memorial Gymansium in Okmulgee. (Larry Owen, Times staff)
44-41 contest, then Collins scored with 39.6 seconds left to cut the deficit to one, 44-43. Both teams missed front ends of a 1-and-1 at 19.8 and 17.3 seconds left, respectively, then Millwood was unable to sink a pair of free throws with 17.3 seconds remaining, setting up the thrilling finish that featured Jordan's gamewinning 3-pointer with 10.6 seconds left. James led all scorers with a game-high 25 points, including nine in the fourth-quarter comeback. Jordan was next in the Okmulgee scoring column with eight, which featured two 3-point baskets in the final period. Jordan's first
Okmulgee sophomore Anfernee Nelson (30) battles for a rebound during Tuesday’s home game against Millwood. (Larry Owen, Times staff)
3-point basket made it a 35-33 contest early in the final frame. The remainder of the Lady Bulldog scoring against Millwood featured Gardner with six, Kailey Ward three, and King and Collins two each. T. Grambling and Ta. Grambling were the top scorers for Millwood with 14 and 10, respectively. In the boys contest against Millwood, the Bulldogs trailed 13-7 at the end of the first eight minutes of action and went into the halftime break down by seven, 24-17, after being outscored 11-10 in the second stanza. The Okmulgee squad opened the third quarter with an 80 run to lead for the first time in the contest, 25-24. It was Jacob Barrett's conversion of an old-fashioned 3-point play at 5:41 that gave the Bulldogs their 1-point advantage. Millwood tallied the next four points to lead 28-25, then baskets by Anfernee Nelson and Keishawn Gardner regained the lead for Okmulgee at 29-28 with 2:05 left in the third quarter. Devion Nelson converted an old-fashioned 3-point play later in the frame to push the Okmulgee lead to four, 3228, then Millwood closed out the frame with a 3-point play of its own to send the game into the final period with the Bulldogs clinging to a narrow 32-31 advantage. The visiting Falcons tallied the first five points of the fourth quarter for a 36-32 lead. The Bulldogs managed only six points in the final stanza with the final basket coming on a layup by Gardner with 27.2 seconds left that made it a 40-38 contest. Millwood made one of two free throw attempts with 15.2 seconds left to push its lead to three, 41-38. The Bulldogs missed a 3-point attempt in the final seconds then had an inbounds pass stolen with 2.2 seconds left to suffer the heartbreaking 41-38 defeat. Devion Nelson led Okmulgee in scoring with 13 points. Gardner also reached double figures for the Bulldogs in the first-half finale, finishing with 10 points. The remainder of the Okmulgee scoring saw Anfernee Nelson finish with seven, Jacob Barrett six, and DeAndre Jones two. Price and Fisher led Millwood with 14 and 10, respectively. --Girls Game Okmulgee 46, Millwood 44 Millwood - 11 - 15 - 4 - 14 (44) Okmulgee - 8 - 9 - 12 - 17 (46) Okmulgee Scoring: McKenzie James 25, Destiny Jordan 8, Tierney Gardner 6, Kailey Ward 3, Sahmeya King 2, Angel Collins 2. --Boys Game Millwood 41, Okmulgee 38 Millwood - 13 - 11 - 7 - 10 (41) Okmulgee - 7 - 10 - 15 - 6 (38) Okmulgee Scoring: Devion Nelson 13, Keishawn Gardner 10, Anfernee Nelson 7, Jacob Barrett 6, DeAndre Jones 2.