By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Pond Creek-Hunter coach Tasha Diesselhorst was riding junior Lady Panther Jade Jones on her free-throw shooting all season, telling her that a good team’s go-to player should hit every shot from the line.
Boy, has it paid off.
Jones hit 27 of 28 attempts from the line and was harassed, hammered and even heckled on her way to a career-high 45 points, leading PC-Hunter past Garber 69-48 for its second straight Skeltur Tournament title Saturday at the Mabee Center.
“I’ve been on her for her free throws, so that’s kind of fitting that she stepped up tonight on the line and knocked them down,” PC-Hunter coach Diesselhorst said.
Jones said after her career night that she hadn’t expected quite the success she had.
“Probably not,” she said. “I knew that I had to play well, but so did everyone else,”
Before Jones heated up on her own, the Lady Panthers hit their first seven baskets, most of them jump shots, and were only slowed by four early turnovers. PC-Hunter’s first miss came on a Jones runner seven minutes into the game, and an offensive rebound gave her another chance, which she buried as the Lady Panthers took a 21-10 lead after one.
“The past two games, I haven’t really played to my potential,” said PC-Hunter senior Carson Ferguson, who scored all seven of her points on three straight trips in the first half. “So I was really glad that I came out and started out really well.”
“It was a great team win,” Diesselhorst said. “When we have five players that step up and play together, we’re pretty good. Carson Ferguson was hitting her shots early, our little freshman Tiarra (Davis) … hit those jump shots, and you could see the smile on her face. When all of our players step up and play like they’re capable of, we can be pretty good.”
PC-Hunter pushed the run to 20-5 early in the second and the lead to 24-10.
Garber answered with seven straight points to pull within 24-17, but afterward couldn’t find an answer for Jones, who scored 15 in the second to give the Lady Panthers a 40-23 halftime lead that never was challenged.
“I’m just glad we won,” said Jones, who hit her first 17 free throws before her only miss. “I don’t care how many points I had, I’m just glad we won.”
Jones continued to excel in the second half, scoring 24 of her team’s 29 points despite being chided by a full-throated Garber contingent in the Mabee Center, especially when she took free throws. Jones was shoved to the court more than once and apparently had her hair tugged after one play, resulting in an intentional foul against Garber.
Jones downplayed the game’s physical play, saying only that she’s “a little bit (sore).”
“It’s just two good ball programs going at each other every night,” Diesselhorst said. “They’ve got a good program, we feel like we’ve got a good program, so we know every time we play each other, it’s going to be competitive.”
DOVER 61, DRUMMOND 40
Sophomore Kristina Walker scored 10 of her 12 in the fourth quarter as fifth-seeded Dover ran away late for the Skeltur Tournament’s consolation title, 61-40 against No. 6 seed Drummond.
WAUKOMIS 62, PIONEER 35
Sadie Perry led four Lady Chiefs in double-digit scoring with 15 as Waukomis pulled away in the second quarter to take third at the Skeltur Tournament against Pioneer, 62-35.