By Andrew Glover
PERKINS, Okla. —
Editor's note: It was a wild 2013 in Oklahoma State, Stillwater and area sports. So wild and exciting that some of the biggest moments fell to the chopping room floor when voted on by the members of The Stillwater NewsPress. In the days leading up to the New Year, the NewsPress sports department will count down the top 10 stories of 2013.
The Perkins-Tryon Lady Demons’ 2012-2013 basketball season turned out to be one of the best in school history as they went on a 28-game winning streak and reached the Class 3A state finals.
“It was a great run,” P-T coach Jerry Burnett said. “The last two seasons we were state semifinalists. We want to make it to the final. We worked all season to get there.”
During the Lady Demons’ run of 28 straight victories, Perkins-Tryon dominated its competition — winning most of its games by over 20 points and often holding its opposition under 20 points.
Burnett reached a milestone as he won his 500th game. Burnett said he had a lot of people over the years help him reach that mark.
“It was a surprise, I kind of put that under the radar,” Burnett said. “There’s a lot of good kids and coaches that are part of that run.”
P-T won the 66 Conference Tournament which it hosted and the CD Warehouse Tournament in Bethel. In the playoffs, the Lady Demons easily defeated the Perry Lady Maroons 44-18 in the district championship. Perkins-Tryon got the benefit of playing at home in regionals and took advantage. P-T defeated Oklahoma Christian 39-30 to win the regional championship. In the area title game, Perkins-Tryon defeated Sequoyah 56-27 to clinch a spot in the state tournament.
The Lady Demons opened the state tournament with Hugo. P-T struggled shooting, hitting only 40 percent of its shots and turned the ball over 14 times. Perkins-Tryon pulled out to a 35-24 halftime lead and maintained the lead in the second half.
“I don’t know if it was first game or what it was,” Burnett said. “... It’s over, we got the win and we move on.”
Senior post Jordan Gorham led the team in scoring with 19 points. McKenzie Stanford followed with 15. Sophomore Bailey Wensler was strong on the glass with 11 rebounds.
P-T faced the defending Class 3A state champion Millwood Lady Falcons in the semfinals and passed that test with flying colors in a 63-42 victory.
Though the final score was a wide margin, it was close throughout the game. P-T once again struggled shooting in the first half, only hitting 38 percent of its shots and turned the ball over seven times. Despite their offensive struggles, the Lady Demons held a 28-20 halftime lead.
Millwood battled back in the third quarter and outscored Perkins-Tryon 17-14 and cut the lead to 42-37. That’s when the Lady Demons took control of the game. Wensler scored seven points on four free throws and a 3-pointer. Senior Lacey Shipp follwed with a 3-pointer to give P-T a 16-point lead. Stanford led the team with 15 points. Junior Jeri Adkism followed with 14.
“We knew we couldn’t stop playing,” Stanford said. “It was exciting. It was an experience you will never be able to explain.”
The Class 3A state championship paired two undefeated teams as the Lady Demons battled Sulphur. Once again P-T started slow offensively and this time it cost the Lady Demons in a 42-34 loss.
“We dug a hole early,” Burnett said. “That was the game right there. We played them even the rest of the way. We were able to make some runs at them. They came out of the gates ready to go and we didn’t.”
The Lady Demons fell behind 9-2 after the first quarter and trailed 19-9 at halftime on 4 of 17 shooting. P-T tried to rally in the second half, but Sulphur matched every run. Gorham led the team in scoring with 13 points.
Gorham and Stanford went on to play college basketball at Oklahoma Christian. Shipp and Siara Breeden also graduated from the team. Adkism and Wensler will join Burnett to lead another run at state in 2014.