CNHI News Service
It was far from a thing of beauty. No. 1 Edmond Santa Fe didn't play its best game of the season when it faced Broken Arrow in the quarterfinals of the 6A state tournament. But they still found a way to pull out a 77-60 victory Thursday at Skiatook Activities Center.
Despite the not playing their best, coach Paul Bass was happy with the way his Wolves grind out the victory..
"It was struggle," Bass said. "When No. 1 plays the eight seed... you have to be prepared. Coming and traveling from Edmond, getting here and watching games, I've learned from experience from the silver ball and two gold balls, you get by that first one, then your motor is going."
The win pushes the defending state champions into a semifinal match Friday with Booker T. Washington at 1:30 p.m. at the Mabee Center.
"We have Booker T. tomorrow," Bass said. "This ought to be a good game. This side of the bracket is really tough. If we can get by this one, we will be looking good. We have to take care of business."
The Wolves took a 57-43 lead into the fourth quarter and seemed to have the night wrapped up. They went into their four-corners offense to run the clock out.
However, Broken Arrow hadn't thrown in the towel just yet. They forced ESF into a few turnovers and the Tigers were able to cut the lead down to 9 with 2:58 left in the game.
But Tamara Lee restored order for the Wolves. The junior guard knocked in three free throws and a layup to push the lead to 71-57. Cameerah Graves and Alexis Cooper added back-to-back baskets to put the contest away.
"I think we played good actually," Lee said. "We stepped it up big time. I think we did pretty good. I think we are really tough. Better than last year to be honest. Even though we lost seven seniors."
Lee had a game-high 29 points. Cooper chipped in with 12 points and seven rebounds.
The Wolves know their path gets tougher tomorrow with the Hornets.
"The key is just playing hard defense" Lee said. "And not turning the ball over."