The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

March 7, 2014

Jones scores 30, PC-Hunter advances to state title

OKLAHOMA CITY — Jade Jones got the chance she wanted against the team she wanted, and took advantage of both.

The Pond Creek-Hunter senior had 30 points on half as many shots, nearly outscoring top-ranked Cheyenne-Reydon on her own as the Lady Panthers made their first-ever trip to the Class A State Championship with a 48-35 win Friday at the Oklahoma State Fair Park. 

Jones was held to nine points the last time the teams met, hampered by what turned out to be a torn ACL in her left knee in an elimination loss in the 2013 state quarterfinals.

It took a quarter and a play for her to pass that on Friday.

“I, we’ve been wanting to play them for a year now,” said Jones, who had 10 points after a steal and three-point play seconds into the second quarter, pushing her career total over 2,000. “We were hoping they would win so we could play them again and they could see how good we were.”

“From the beginning of the game, you could see it in her eyes that she wasn’t gonna be satisfied with anything but getting to that next game tomorrow,” said PC-Hunter coach Tasha Diesselhorst.“We tried to call a couple of sets, and she looked at me and said, ‘Keep the ball in my hands.’”

Jones scored seven of Lady Panthers’ first nine points, 16 of their first 20, 20 of their first 24 and 22 of their first 27. The Lady Bears sagged off of Jones early to take away her drive, then played tight, then doubled, then fouled. She reached 30 on a pair of free throws -- the last two of a perfect 15-for-15 night at the foul line -- with 27 seconds left.

“I just let her go,” said Rylie Halcomb, PC-Hunter’s only other senior. “I know she can handle it. She always has. She never lets down, hasn’t ever.”

Cheyenne-Reydon, Class A’s No. 1 team entering the state tournament and 26-5 after Friday, kept pace early, passing easily through PC-Hunter’s 2-3 zone to lead 13-9 after a quarter as the LAdy Panthers’ defensive interior keyed on 6-foot-2 center Kate Sander. The Lady Bears scored six points in the paint in the opening frame, two on a short jumper just outside it by Taylor Swisher and another on an Amanda Bogle free throw earned at the rim.

PC-Hunter collapsed its zone in the second, forcing four straight turnovers to open the quarter to take a 16-13 lead on seven straight points, five from Jones.

Cheyenne-Reydon, after hitting six shots in the first quarter, hit seven for the rest of the game, finishing 13-for-41 from the floor and 2-for-11 from three.

“We were gonna make them hit 10 threes and beat us rather than make 20 bump shots,” said Jones, who had a game-high three steals.

Cheyenne-Reydon closed to within 27-26 after a Summer Pennington to start the fourth quarter, but Jones split a pair of double teams to assist Bria Taylor for back-to-back baskets at the rim and set off an 11-1 run. PC-Hunter’s 38-27 lead grew as high as 15 points and never sunk below double digits.

Sophomore Tiarra Davis played through an apparent first quarter injury to her right leg and finished with nine points. The Lady Panthers improved to 27-1 with the win, their only loss coming to Frontier, their possible opponent depending on the result of a 7:30 p.m. semifinal between Frontier and Seiling. .

“We’re gonna soak it all in,” Diesselhorst said. “We believe it’s our turn. We’re ready.”

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