The Edmond Sun


March 7, 2014

Defensive battle falls in favor of Deer Creek

Lady Antlers reach state tourney; Vann nails with pressure on

OWASSO — A pair of defensive teams coming out on each other, both 20-5 Deer Creek and 20-5 Collinsville played to a 20-19 score after three periods with the Lady Antlers on top Thursday night at Owasso High School in a Class 5A area championship game.

The final panel wasn’t much different, as Deer Creek used two mammoth defensive plays by Dakota Vann to stave off the Cardinals 31-28 and advance to the state tournament beginning March 13.

“Last week at practice, I told the girls that the road to get back to the state tournament was that somebody was going to have to make a play,” defending state champion Deer Creek coach Totsy Manning said after the victory over Collinsville. “I told the girls to go out and make a good play.”

Vann, a 5-10 junior, did just that — twice.

Up just 27-24 with 2:43 left in regulation, Manning pulled the ball out. The Antlers ran off 53 seconds, but turned the ball over.

As the Lady Cardinals brought the ball over midcourt, Vann punched the ball out of the guard’s hand, stepped around her opponent and took the ball the distance for a 29-24 advantage.

“It was crunch time,” Vann said of the play. “At first, I didn’t think I had it. But I tipped it and had to go for it.”

Vann nearly sealed the deal a minute later with a huge block on the baseline. After the stuff, she kicked the ball outside quickly to Whitney Jones, who finished off the break with a double-pump layup and a 31-24 cushion with 40 ticks left on the clock.

With just six seconds left, Collinsville (20-6) clawed back as 6-4 post Mallory Vaughn scored on a follow shot to make the score 31-28.

The Antlers (21-5) called for a time-out under the Cardinals’ basket. Deer Creek threw the ball away on the inbound and Cardinal guard Sawyer Salisbury picked up the ball in the middle of the lane, dribbled back behind the 3-point line and got off an unguarded 3-pointer at the buzzer that fell short.

Vaughn led all scorers with 13 points and teammate Taylor O’Dell chipped in eight.

Vaughn, who towered over any and every Antler on the floor, was slowed due to Abbey Renner’s physical defense down low.

“She was amazing,” Manning lauded of Renner’s defensive travail down on the post. “Our biggest girl is only 5-10. She had a lot of help from her teammates.”

Vann and Jones each hit eight points, Renner added six and Shae Scheffler contributed five. Jones scored six in the fourth, including 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.


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