DC girls BB champs

The Deer Creek girls basketball team celebrate as champions of the Deer Creek Bruce Gray Invitational basketball tournament between Deer Creek and Putnam City on Saturday.

For the second time in as many years, head coach Alex Moorehead stood just off the court, gathering together the women’s EVO basketballs while relishing the fact that his team had won their own-hosted Bruce Gray Invitational Tournament. 

Before he’d escape the floor, though, he’d get a pair of hugs from two younger fans, and then he was found by boys head coach Mike Donnelly. Finally, after the parade of support and congratulations, Moorehead was able to escape into the alcoves of the P.A.A.C., where he’d harbor from the loud, boy’s championship warm-up music and reflect on his team’s dominant, second-consecutive Bruce Gray claim. 

“There was a couple years where we weren’t winning, so it’s good to have two in row,” Moorehead stated, “We’re hitting stride at the right time.” 

For Moorehead, seeing his team post three double-digit victories was more of a confirmation: A mental “Yeah, we’re still on the right path,” that was coming from the coach of Class 6A’s No. 2-ranked girl’s basketball squad. 

Creek climbed through the Bruce Gray bracket just like they’ve climbed through the 6A rankings — fast. And, on Saturday in the tournament’s championship, that fast pace was dictated by stellar guard play from Deer Creek’s Angel and Bri Scott. 

“Being able to be fast pace and get down hill, we really excel at that,” Moorehead said Saturday. “Angel and Bri are two of the toughest guards in the state. They’re super athletic and we’re glad to have them — they did a great job today.”

Angel and Bri were first and second scoring Saturday — but it wasn’t their offensive points that dictated Saturday’s decision. It was the pace of play they kept pinned on Putnam City, instead. 

Angel’s 13 points hinged around her team-best five steals. Each swipe saw her push transition offense down the floor. She’d make four of her five 2-point attempts, with most of those coming in fast break circumstances. When she wasn’t able to get a shot up she’d find someone else instead, tying Skylar Vann for a team-best three assists. 

Bri’s 14 tallies came pretty similar, but it was her rebounding that got her down the floor. She’d pull six down off the glass, leading her to 7-of-12 shooting in a championship that saw her lead her team in scoring. 

Bri and Angel weren’t the only guards to have good games against Putnam City, either. Daija Sims poured in seven points with two influential blocks, Allie Hardzog had another six and a made 3-pointer, and Maddie Cooper and Jenna Marshall added in two more 3-balls of their own. That was all crucial in Saturday’s 17-point win, Moorehead said, because it opened things up inside for All-Tournament Team Most Valuable Player Skylar Vann. 

“Everyone plays off each other,” Moorehead said. “Guard play is extremely important, so when we are doing well it really opens things up for Skylar — and it all goes downhill from there.”

Vann was dominant all weekend, and Saturday was no different. She’d tie Angel Scott’s team-second 13 points in the championship, a day after she scored 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting against Sunrise Christian in Friday’s semifinals. Sunrise had no one who could guard her; On Saturday, the guard play spaced out the interior enough for Vann to record a double-double, with 10 rebounds (her tournament best), three steals and two blocks to go alongside her 13 tallied points. 

Vann, again, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after Saturday’s win, and both Angel and Bri Scott were named to the bracket’s All-Tournament roster, too. 

Deer Creek, who are 15-2 overall and last week received eight first-place votes on the weekly OSSAA rankings ballot, will be off until Friday. They’ll host Edmond Santa Fe at 6 p.m.

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