In a razor-tight contest in a state championship game, it’s the little things that matter.
Deer Creek and Tulsa East Central needed an extra period to decide this year’s Class 5A girls state champion and 5-10 Lady Antler post Abbey Renner had a lot to do with that.
With only 45 seconds remaining in overtime and the Lady Cardinals desperately fighting to get even with Deer Creek, Renner, very undersized against 6-3 Sharayla Brown, boxed out perfectly and got Brown to plunge through her with the Antlers in the double bonus. Renner made both free shots for a 30-25 advantage as Deer Creek went on to win its second consecutive state title by a 31-28 count Saturday afternoon inside the Mabee Center on the campus of Oral Roberts University.
“It doesn’t matter how big you are, it’s how big you play,” Deer Creek head coach Totsy Manning stated in postgame interviews. “And, she (Renner) played extremely big.”
Renner also chipped at 6-4 Mallory Vaughn in an area championship win over Collinsville a week earlier.
Backing up Renner inside was Dakota Vann, who was all over the court and accumulated 17 rebounds and hit more than half of the Antlers’ points with 17. She achieved a double-double in all three games of the state tournament.
“She (Vann) was solid and gave a tremendous effort on the court,” Manning lauded. “She was amazing in there getting so many boards.
“We always struggle on offense and we rely on our defense. It was our defense that wins championships and it was a total team effort.”
Struggle offensively they did. Not many times will a state championship be won when you are outshot from the field, the free-throw line and commit 21 turnovers to 13. The Lady Antlers shot 9-for-40 from the floor (23 percent) and 10-for-17 from the line (59 percent). Tulsa East Central hit 12-of-49 shots (25 percent) but made only three free shots (3-for-5, 60 percent) attributed mainly to the stout Deer Creek defense.
“We know what our team defense needs to be,” Manning pointed out. “We watched them (Tulsa East Central) destroy teams and they said you can’t man East Central. But, we manned them all game.”
In overtime with the Antlers up 30-25, Cardinal Janee Arnold squirelly chunked up a long 3-pointer with 37 seconds left that hit the top of the square and banked in to keep East Central alive trailing just 30-28. Arnold shot just 6-for-22 from the field and hit the lone 3-point shot of the game for the Lady Cardinals.
Deer Creek then threw the ball away against the rugged press and Tulsa East Central got off two shots. On the second, a scrum took place on the floor for the ball and the arrow pointed in favor of the Lady Antlers with 28 seconds to go.
The Antlers held the ball and Vann was fouled with 8.6 seconds left and she made 1-of-2 free throws for the 31-28 final.
Arnold needed a 3 to tie, but she erroneously drove in for a layup that did not count because the horn sounded while she was still dribbling.
“We are playing a lot better this time of year,” Manning noted. “We corrected a lot of our mistakes. We started a 12-game winnning streak in January and when I look at old film, I say, ‘that’s not even the team we are now.’”
Deer Creek had an opportunity to win the game in regulation after Shae Scheffler picked up a huge rebound with 7.5 seconds left. After a time-out, the Antlers lost the ball off the dribble again, but Bayli Blanchard came up with the loose ball and missed an uncovered trey at the buzzer.
The Lady Antlers led 8-4 at the end of the first quarter when Vann got her second 3-pointer of the period to climb over the rim with 12 seconds left. Vann shot 3-for-5 from beyond the arc.
Deer Creek led 14-13 at intermission and Tulsa East Central grabbed the lead after three periods at 21-19.
Blanchard snatched six rebounds and scored six points followed by teammates Renner and Whitney Jones with four boards and four points each and Emily Gillis and Scheffler with two points apiece. Jones also had three steals in the game.
The Antlers finish off the year at 25-5.
In a razor-tight contest in a state championship game, it’s the little things that matter.
Deer Creek 2nd largest in Class 5A
With the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association releasing enrollment figures, Deer Creek stands as the second-largest school in Class 5A with 1,252 students.
Lawton Eisenhower, which had been a very strong football program in 6A, is now tops in 5A with 1,281 students.
Schedules in football classification still remain the same until 2016-17. Del City will move back into 6A beginning in 2016.
The statistics will not be deemed official until pending approval at the OSSAA’s board meeting next month.
Wilson, Grissom take on more suitable roles for 2015 season
Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins.
The moves were made to aid OU’s defense. They could benefit both in the future.
Yurcich ready for second season
With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.
Yurcich and most of the Cowboys’ coaching staff attended the annual media golf outing Wednesday at Karsten Creek. He, along with the other assistant coaches, talked about the upcoming season.
“Every offense is going to be a little bit different from year to year, depending on the personnel,” Yurcich said. “I think you learn a little bit more about the players, because you know them for a longer time. You know a little bit more about the coaches you work with because you’re around them a little bit longer. All of those things factor into one more year of experience.
Wallar voted National Tennis Coach of the Year finalist
The National High School Athletic Coaches Association honored Dee Ann Waller, coach and teacher from Edmond North High School, as a finalist for the National High School Athletic Coaches Association National Coach of the Year in tennis.
Eight finalists from across the nation were chosen to be honored during The National Coach of the Year awards banquet that took place during the National High School Athletic Coaches Association’s national convention June 14-18, at the Snow King Resort in Jackson Hole, Wy.
McKey to compete in North American final
Edmond’s Mary McKey, who attends John Carroll Catholic School in Oklahoma City, qualified for the Hershey’s Track & Field Games North American Final after winning the Hershey’s Oklahoma State Meet June 28.
McKey, 12, had the fastest time in the region that consists of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, New Mexico and Puerto Rico. Hershey only accepts eight runners from North America.
McKey is a Catholic grade school champion and the first Catholic student to qualify for the North American final. She is also a Jim Thorpe Games 400-meter champion.
The North American final will run Aug. 2 in Hershey, Pa.
Former quarterback Bell has pedigree to dominate at tight end for Sooners
The question came quickly to Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops. Are there any plans to use Blake Bell at quarterback — in some capacity?
“That’s funny, it keeps coming up,” Stoops said Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days. “Blake was recruited definitely as a quarterback. But when you look at him now after three years, he is the pro-type at tight end. He’s got great hands, great size. He can run. Natural spacing as far as where to be in his routes.”
So, the answer is no.
Smith ready to begin the next chapter with Ravens
During his long drive to Maryland from his North Carolina home Sunday, veteran wide receiver Steve Smith had plenty of time to think about an offseason defined by a dramatic change in his life.
After 13 years with the Carolina Panthers, Smith was cut in March following one of the least productive seasons of his career. The Ravens promptly signed him to a three-year, $11 million contract.
Smith remained in a reflective mood as veterans officially reported to camp Wednesday. Smith, however, showed up Monday eager for his new start.
Local cops arrest NFL player on marijuana complaint
The Edmond Police Department has released the incident report related to the arrest of ex-Oklahoma State star and current NFL player Justin Blackmon.
Blackmon, 24, a product of Plainview High School in Ardmore, is a 6-1, 210-pound wide receiver in his second year with the Jacksonville Jaguars. At Oklahoma State University, he was a two-time Biletnikoff Award winner as the country’s best collegiate wide receiver.
Former OSU line coach having impact on Texas staff
It was quite possibly the biggest coaching coup of the offseason and Oklahoma State was at the wrong end of it — former Cowboy offensive line coach Joe Wickline joining the staff for Charlie Strong’s Texas Longhorns.
“It’s always good when you go hire staff and you look at just getting the right people within your program. And, a lot of times, guys know a lot of Xs and Os, but it’s all just about developing a player,” said Strong, Tuesday during the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days. “Joe and I, we’ve coached together at two different places. But just with him being within his conference and knowing the conference, he’s been a great asset.”
Santa Fe alum McGreevy makes U.S. Amateur
OU’s Max McGreevy, an Edmond Santa Fe graduate, and University of Tulsa’s Logan McCracken qualified for the 2014 U.S. Amateur, the United States Golf Association’s (USGA) prestigious annual event featuring the world’s finest amateur golfers. This year’s championship will be held at the venerable Atlanta Athletic Club (AAC) in Johns Creek, Aug. 9-17.
Max McGreevy, Edmond 67-65—132
Logan McCracken, Oklahoma City 69-66—135
1st Alt. Garrison Mendoza, Clinton 69-71—140
2nd Alt. Thomas Johnson, Norman 71-69—140
- More Sports Headlines
- Deer Creek 2nd largest in Class 5A