Stillwater News Press

High School Sports

March 8, 2013

Cushing girls fall in semifinals to Fort Gibson

BETHANY, Okla. — Before Friday’s state semifinal basketball game, coach Brad Crace admitted his Lady Tigers were the underdog against the second-ranked Fort Gibson Lady Tigers.

“No one is really talking about us,” Crace said. “Everyone is talking about Fort Gibson and Anadarko and we are OK with that.”

Unfortunately, Cushing’s dance in the Class 4A state tournament ended in the state semifinals at Southern Nazarene University’s Sawyer Center in a 52-35 loss to Fort Gibson.

“We played hard and just didn’t have it,” Crace said. “Kudos to them, they took Che’Ron (Lewis) out of the game and that’s what they needed to do to win.”

Cushing’s offense struggled as it didn’t score until senior Mattea Jackson hit a 3-pointer with more than three minutes left in the first. That shot sparked a rally as senior Shaunda Hagler hit a 3 and Jackson struck again, tying the game at 9. Fort Gibson led 12-9 after the first.

“I thought our guards did outstanding,” Crace said. “Made some 3s and kept us in it.”

The Lady Tigers’ scoring woes would haunt them as Fort Gibson went on a 10-0 run in the second quarter. Cushing’s only field goal was by Mariah Burris. Fort Gibson led 24-11 at halftime. Cushing couldn’t stop Fort Gibson’s post Brooke Palmer, who scored 14 points in the first half.

Lewis, who usually leads the team in scoring, didn’t score until she hit two free throws in the fourth quarter.

In the third quarter, the Lady Tigers rallied to cut the deficit to six but weren’t able to complete the comeback. Fort Gibson opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer by Savannah Gray and never led by fewer than seven.

Jackson led Cushing in scoring with 14 points. Hagler followed with nine. Fort Gibson’s Palmer led all scorers with 24. Allie Glover followed with nine.

The Lady Tigers (25-2) graduate seven players, including Lewis. Crace said his seniors single-handedly revived the program.

“When I got here this program was on life support,” Crace said. “Those seven years have made this program something again.”

Crace said despite losing most of the team he has some good players returning.

“We have solid pieces but there is no substitute for experience,” Crace said. “It’s a process. I think in another couple of years we can make a run at it again.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
High School Sports
Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
NDN Video
Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video
Must Read