By Ronn Rowland, CNHI News Service
Enid News and Eagle
MUSKOGEE, Okla. —
It wasn’t easy for the Enid Pacers against the Coweta Lady Tigers on Tuesday.
Leading by only three points heading into the final quarter, the Pacers, 8-1 and No. 9 in the Okrankings.com Class 6A poll, held 5A Coweta (2-10) to three points in the final stanza in winning 53-38 in an opening-round large school girls game at Ron Milam Gymnasium in the 33rd Bedouin Shrine Classic.
“It was a close game until we hooked up on the defensive end,” said Enid coach Robb Mills. “We stopped their dribble penetration, and it turned over for us on the offensive end. That’s when things opened up.”
The score was tied at 14-14 at the end of the first quarter before Enid squeezed out a 27-23 lead at halftime. At the end of the third quarter, the Pacers led 38-35, but dominated Coweta with a strong defensive effort in the final period, outscoring the Lady Tigers 15-3 to secure the win.
“We’ve been working on sharing the basketball, and our passing was excellent tonight,” Mills said. “We just didn’t play as well on the defensive end as I wanted to early on.”
Enid had three players finish the game in double figures, led by Courtney Chelf with a game-high 23 points. Abby Lee and Andi Pierce each had 11 points.
Chelf was proud of her teammates’ effort.
“We’ve worked on our defense in practice and our offensive chemistry,” Chelf said. “Our game plan was to keep them in front of us and to switch off screens. We did a good job.”
The Pacers next face McAlester — which won its opening-round game on Monday, defeating Tulsa Hale 60-36 — at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinals at the Muskogee Civic Center.
Rowland wrttes for the Muskogee Phoenix.
ENID 53, COWETA 38
COWETA 14 9 12 3 — 38
ENID 14 13 11 15 — 53
Coweta — Norton 14, Brewster 7, Hauss 5, Bach 3, Elliott 3, Lee 1.
Enid — Chelf 21, Pierce 13, Lee 11, Bay 4, Enmeier 4.