By Andrew Glover
BETHANY, Okla. —
The last time the Cushing Lady Tigers advanced in the state semifinals was 2005. Thursday at Southern Nazarene University’s Sawyer Center, the Lady Tigers punched their ticket to the 2013 Class 4A state semifinals with a 41-36 victory over the Harrah Lady Panthers.
“We have a great group,” coach Brad Crace said. “I’m happy about the opportunity to keep playing.”
Cushing (25-1) took a 9-7 first quarter lead and took advantage of its opportunities at the free throw line. Senior post Che’Ron Lewis was a force inside as she scored two 3-point plays in the first half and pulled down several rebounds. The second quarter was back-and-forth as the Lady Tigers went to halftime with an 18-15 lead.
Crace said his team pulled away in the second half with timely shooting.
“We got a big 3-pointer in the third quarter and another in the fourth,” Crace said. “We had a 10-point lead with three or four minutes left in the game.”
Crace said Harrah didn’t go down quietly.
“They have some really good shooters,” Crace said. “They were able to hit some 3-point shots late.”
Lewis led the Lady Tigers with 15 points. Hannah Burris followed with 11. Taylor Jones followed with 9. Cushing faces second-ranked Fort Gibson in the semifinals at 8 p.m. Friday in the Sawyer Center.
“They are really big and strong,” Crace said. “We are two equally matched teams. When you are the final four teams left everyone is good. We are going to take our best shot.”
Crace said playing good defense will be key.
“We are going to have to do a good job of guarding them,” Crace said. “They made a lot of 3-pointers against Weatherford.”