By Andrew Glover
OKLAHOMA CITY —
Star players are known for taking over a game when it’s on the line. With a trip to the Class A state basketball tournament on the line, Glencoe’s Ty Lazenby scored 21 points in the second half to lead his Panthers to a 72-66 victory over the Sterling Tigers in the state semifinals at Jim Norick State Fair Arena.
“I kept telling him, ‘pass, pass,’” coach John Lazenby said. “Then he hits another one. Every time they hit a shot, Ty hit one back.”
Ty Lazenby scored 15 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter, which helped keep the Tigers from coming back. Most of Lazenby’s scores were due to him driving to the basket and more times than not he drew contact. The sophomore sank 13 of his 17 free throws.
The Panthers (30-1) held a 69-59 lead in the last three minutes of the game. The Tigers got a 3-pointer from Treyvn Woolbright and during the play, Hunter Hall committed a foul away from the ball. Sterling converted one of the free throws to cut the lead to 69-63.
Glencoe also missed several free throws, which kept the game tight in the final quarter. The Tigers weren’t able to complete their comeback.
“It’s a 10-point lead and they get the five-point play,” coach Lazenby said. “They start fouling us and we miss some free throws. ... We just had to go in there and get it done.”
Hall said it was a hard-fought game and is happy the team won.
“They were tough but we came back,” Hall said.
The junior hit a 3-pointer near the end of the third quarter that gave the Panthers a nine-point lead.
“I hit an air ball earlier,” Hall said. “I was just trying to get that one to go down.”
In the first half, Glencoe drew several fouls early and was in the free throw bonus in the first quarter. The Panthers took advantage, converting 16 of 18. The Panthers pulled out to a 10-point lead near the end of the first and led 20-13.
“Getting them into foul trouble was huge,” coach Lazenby said. “When their shooter number 10 (Trevyn Woolbright) fouled out, I thought we got this.”
The Tigers (28-4) had three players foul out. Glencoe led by as many as nine in the first half, but the Tigers’ sharp shooting helped cut the Panthers lead to two.
Sterling’s offense was powered by Mickey Milam and Trevyn Woolbright. Milam was a force down low scoring 18 points. Woolbright was a sharp shooter scoring 22 points on jumpers, including one 3-pointer.
Sterling got within one twice in the third quarter. Hunter Hall made a two and a three, free throws from Jake and Ty Lazenby helped increase Glencoe’s lead.
Also contributing for the Panthers was Jake Lazenby scored 16 points and senior Kagen Castlebury hit 10 free throws. Hall added eight points.
The Panthers will shoot for their first state title since 2006 at 1:45 p.m. Saturday against top-ranked Weleetka. Lazenby said he’s looking forward to the title game against the team that knocked the Panthers out of the state tournament a year ago.
“We get to play in ‘The Big House’ on championship Saturday,” Lazenby said.