By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Timberlake girls basketball coach Kale Pierce’s top goal for the second-seeded Lady Tigers in their Cherokee Strip Conference Tournament opener Thursday against seventh seed Ringwood was that his team not look past the Lady Red Devils to Friday’s play.
Thirteen Timberlake players combined to set a team scoring record, and the No. 5 Lady Tigers raced to the championship semifinals, 92-23.
“We didn’t want to look ahead too much, because we wanted to stay focused on this game, and be ready to play, and play our best,” said Kayla Castle, who scored 13. “If we overthink it, we would not have played as well.”
Castle and Kyle Severin hit back-to-back threes to open the game, and Severin added another basket on the Tigers’ third trip, starting a 31-0 Timberlake run to open the game. Timberlake forced 14 first-quarter turnovers with full-court pressure from the opening tip and shut Ringwood out in the opening frame to take a 28-0 lead after one, scoring the second quarter’s first three points before Ringwood’s Amanda Schmidt tallied the Lady Red Devils’ first basket with 6:10 left in the second.
“We came ready to play,” Pierce said. “You worry about how you’re going to shoot in this gym. It usually takes some getting used to. But we came out, and hit our first three and looked good doing it. (We) came out with intensity, and I’m proud of them.”
Ringwood scored the opening five points of the third quarter after trailing 55-9 at half, but Timberlake answered with the frame’s final 13, adding 24 in the fourth to finish with 92, five points better than the team’s previous scoring record of 87, a mark Pierce believed was set in 2002.
“Everyone was clicking on all cylinders offensively, and I’ve been proud of the way we’ve defended for the most part all year long,” Pierce said. “We’ve had some of those times when we have just one or two girls playing well offensively. Thankfully we’re deep enough that that’s gotten us a pretty good record, but when you’re going to play the elite teams like the teams we’re playing, you’re going to have to have more than one or two.”
Schmidt finished with a team-high eight points for Ringwood (4-13) in its third loss of the season to Timberlake. The Lady Red Devils play Medford on Thursday.
Timberlake improved to 16-1 and 5-1 in Cherokee Strip play with the win, the Lady Tigers’ lone loss courtesy No. 2 Lomega, the top seed in the Cherokee Strip bracket. The Lady Raiders beat Timberlake 65-46 on Jan. 11, a debt the Tigers can square if they pass a semifinal test against DCLA, which defeated Medford on Thursday.
“There’s four really tough teams in this tournament, so we’ve got to get through Friday first,”
Freshman Tiffany Schlup, who scored a career-high 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting, said the game would be more competitive the second time around if the tournament’s top two seeds met again in the final.
“Definitely,” she said.
In other games:
MEDFORD 48, RINGWOOD 35 (B)
Ryan Kilian (14) and Tanner Misak (13) combined for 27 points as the Cardinals raised their record to 6-11. Cole Swart had 11 for Ringwood, which dropped to 9-8. It was the second time Medford had beaten the Red Devils this season.
DCLA 67, MEDFORD 33 (G)
Deer Creek-Lamont held the Lady Cardinals to five points in the second and third periods after a tight first quarter (15-14). Marian Muegge led the Lady Eagles with 15 points. Kimberly Scott had 10.
LOMEGA 63, DCLA 46 (B)
Ethan Kale scored a season-high 30 points as the Raiders advanced to the semifinals. Levi Hunt added 13. Lawson Thompson 25 points in a losing cause. Lomega outscored the Eagles 28-20 in a wild fourth quarter.
LOMEGA 84, KREMLIN-HILLSDALE 33 (G)
The Lady Raiders (18-4) topped the 80-point mark for the first time this season in winning their eighth-straight game. Lomega coach Kevin Lewallen played his starters just the first period and half the third period. Taylor Mendell had 12 points as 12 different Lady Raiders scored. Mary Mitchell had 10 points for the Lady Broncs.
CHEROKEE 59, KREMLIN-HILLSDALE 34
Grant DeWitt (14) and Austin Huckabee (10) combined for 24 points as the top-seeded Chiefs raised their record to 14-4. The Chiefs raced out to a 17-5 first quarter lead and never looked back. Elijah Voth led the Broncs with 10 points.
BURLINGTON 74, TIMBERLAKE 23 (B)
Brandon Gosselin scored a game-high 30 points and the Burlington Elks easily advanced to the Cherokee Strip’s championship semifinal with a 74-23 win against Timberlake.
Burlington (17-4, ranked 10th in Class B) advances to play Medford in the semis at 8:20 p.m.
BURLINGTON 34, CHEROKEE 20 (G)
Tiffany scored a game-high 11 as Burlington won a defensive standoff against Cherokee, 34-20. The Lady Elks held Cherokee to just one point in the first quarter, taking an 11-1 lead and holding off the Lady Chiefs throughout to earns a semifinal shot at 7 p.m. against top seed Lomega, who they beat once already this season.
Cherokee Strip Tournament
Timberlake 92, Ringwood 23
DCLA 57, Medford 33
Lomega 84, Kremlin-Hillsdale 33
Burlington 34, Cherokee 20
Medford 48, Ringwood 35
Lomega 63, DCLA 46.
Cherokee 59, Kremlin-Hillsdale 34
Burlington 74, Timberlake 22
11 a.m. — Medford vs. Ringwood
1:40 — Kremlin-Hillsdale vs. Cherokee
4:20 — DCLA vs. Timbelake
7 — Lomega vs. Burlington
12:20 — Kremlin-Hillsdale vs. DCLA
3 — Ringwood vs. Timberlake
5:40 — Cherokee vs. Lomega
8:20 — Medford vs. Burlington