The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

January 15, 2013

Mirelez makes most of return to starting lineup

By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — When Chisholm’s Faith Mirelez had a dip in on-court focus, Lady Longhorns coach Terry Middleton sought to motivate the talented sophomore, dropping her from the starting lineup.

In her first start in five games, the Chisholm sophomore appears to have gotten the message.

Mirelez scored a career-high 17 points, Megan Galusha scored a game-high 19, and the Lady Longhorns beat host Oklahoma Bible Academy on Tuesday, 48-35.

“(Mirelez) is just playing better,” Middleton said. “There are times when I pull girls out — change up the starting lineups — to just keep them focused, and I felt like she wasn’t really focused. Maybe starting was just getting to her head a little bit.”

Mirelez still was getting about the same amount of floor time during her hiatus from the starting lineup, but didn’t get the additional perks of being on the floor to start games.

“She just didn’t get her name called (with the starters), and wasn’t out there for those first two minutes,” Middleton said.

“It’s something about the adrenaline whenever I start,” Mirelez said. “I feel like (Middleton) is counting on me to be that starter, and it really motivates me to be better than I can (normally) be.”

A pair of free throws from Kammi Gruber extended Chisholm’s lead to double digits for the first time at 33-22 halfway through the third quarter, and Mirelez capped a 9-0 run with an and-one layup to give the Lady Longhorns a 16-point lead.

OBA’s Anna Zander hit back-to-back threes early in the fourth quarter to trim the lead to 40-31, but Morgan Broadbent answered with a layup on Chisholm’s next trip, and the margin never fell below 10 points.

Chisholm (8-6) snapped a two-game losing streak with the win, one that will be tested with the Lady Longhorns’ third game against Wheat Capital Tournament champion and 2A No. 3 Fairview, which hosts Chisholm on Friday.

“That’s a great time to have them on our schedule,” said Middleton, whose team has lost 54-21 and 54-40 to the Lady Jackets this season. “What you don’t do well, they’re going to make that stick out, and that’s how you learn to fine-tune your team, playing the tough competition. There was a big difference between the first time we played them and the second time we played them.”

Brooke Wayman scored a team-high 11 points and Erin Coffin added eight for OBA, which fell to 5-7 with the loss, falling short of extending its win streak to a season-high three games. OBA visits Mooreland on Friday.

OBA 60, Chisholm 45 (B)

Preston Atwood scored a game-high 18 points, Adam Eaton added 13, and OBA snapped a two-game losing streak, beating visiting Chisholm 60-45 on Tuesday.

Chisholm took a 15-9 lead after the opening quarter when Caleb Lang and Reid Weber combined for an 8-0 run to close the frame.

But OBA applied heavy ball pressure from the second quarter on, tying off Chisholm’s production and forcing 17 turnovers in the final three frames.

“We just challenged our guys to put all their energy into the defensive end,” said OBA coach Alan Ford. “We told them the offense was going to take care of itself, and if they focus on the defensive part, we’d be there at the end of the game.”

The Longhorns had seven giveaways in the second quarter alone, the last one a swipe and a runout layup to give OBA a 22-18 lead at half. Chisholm’s only scoring in the second quarter came from Bryson Rolfe, who hit a three that was sandwiched between OBA runs of seven and six consecutive points.

“That’s the story of our season,” said Chisholm coach Cody Spurlock, whose team beat OBA in overtime last month. “When we learn to put four quarters together in one game, we’ll be tough to beat, but right now, we can’t seem to do that.”

OBA’s Blaine Whitson hit a turnaround jumper at the third-quarter buzzer to give the Trojans their largest lead at that point at 43-31, and OBA hit 13-of-20 free throws in the final frame to keep Chisholm at bay.

“We came down and instead of making our free throws, we missed them,” Ford said. “So it was pretty similar to tonight, but tonight we came through and made our free throws.”

Weber and Trevor Galusha scored 10 apiece to lead Chisholm (4-10), which visits 2A No. 13 Fairview on Friday. OBA improved to 7-6 with the win, a mark it can improve Friday at Mooreland.