The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

November 19, 2012

Pruett: Defense key in wild 111-103 win

ENID, Okla. — One might be surprised to hear the key to No. 10 Burlington’s girls’ 111-103 triple overtime basketball victory over No. 1-ranked Lomega Friday.

“To be honest, defense is what won it for us,’’ said Lady Elks coach Kristen Pruett

No sarcasm here.

Burlington trailed by nine points (38-29) at halftime, and were down by 16 points at one point in the third period.

“We got about four or five turnovers in a row, got some transition baskets and got back in the game,’’ Pruett said. “Transition points and us hitting jump shots were the difference for us.’’

Burlington forced 24 turnovers and had 16 steals.

“It really came down to us keeping our composure,’’ Pruett said. “It was back and forth toward the end of the third quarter, the fourth quarter and the overtimes, but our kids kept their composure and stepped up.’’

Katelyn Garvie, who had 26 points, hit several key free throws in the overtimes. The game was tied at 77-77 at regulation, 87-87 after the first overtime and 96-96 after the second overtime.

“The whole game was kind of a blur,’’ Pruett said. “I’m sure a lot of people thought it was a misprint when they saw the score. I’ve never seen a girls game with that many points in a long time.’’

Burlington senior Tiffany Rieger had a school record 57 points, 49 of which came after intermission.

“She was struggling badly,’’ Pruett said. “I got on her a little bit. She got several layups in the third period off steals. In the fourth quarter, she was hitting jump shots with kids in her face. She got the hot hand.’’

Rieger was 17 of 22 from the foul line.

Burlington was 46 percent from the field, while Lomega was 45 percent. The Lady Elks were 5 of 18 from 3-point range. The Lady Raiders were 11 of 29.

Lomega had four players in double figures: Taylor Mendel with 37, Beca Drake with 23, Ashley LaGasse with 26 and Hailey Duffy with 13.

“There was some defense played,’’ Pruett said. “It was a very fast-paced game. They like to run and we like to run. They were pressing us, but we did a good job of handling it (only 11 turnovers).’’

Makayla Nall had 11 points for the Lady Elks. Heather Armbruster had eight, Sarah Garvie seven and Savanna Nall two.

“We have a lot more balance than we have had in the past,’’ Pruett said. “All five kids on the floor are contributing.’’

Pruett said all the wind sprints the Lady Elks have done as far as an intense conditioning program paid off.

“We’re in pretty good shape,’’ she said. “I know the kids talk about it (conditioning) and it’s not that fun, but you got to be in shape.’’

Pruett, though, admitted she was a little worn out physically and mentally.

“I was pretty tired and I wasn’t even playing,’’ she said with a chuckle. “I guaranteed the girls were worn out. I remember after the end of the second overtime, I was thinking, ‘Good Lord, do we have to go to another one?’’’

Both teams, Pruett said, were fueled by adrenaline. The Burlington gym was packed.

“This has to build our confidence,’’ she said. “We have improved so much. All the hard work we put in through the summer and off-season is paying off. This will give us confidence going forward against the other teams.’’

Burlington will host Kremlin-Hillsdale tonight in what should be another emotional game.

The Lady Broncs are coached by Tana Turney, the daughter of Burlington boys coach Randy Turney.

Tana Turney and Pruett have a long standing relationship. Pruett coached the younger Turney when she did her student teaching under Randy Turney at Cherokee.

“She knows what I’m going to do and I know what she’s going to do,’’ Pruett said. “We’re both competitive. We’ll take a fun approach to it hopefully.’’

It will be the Kremlin-Hillsdale debut for the younger Turney, who came from Covington-Douglas.

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