February 11, 2014

Late three sinks Lady Chicks

Adam Troxtell
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — Kamber Smedley had just one bucket go in Tuesday against No. 10 Chickasha, but it proved to be the most important of the entire night.

With one second, maybe, remaining, she hurled the ball up toward the basket and watched it go in as the clock expired to give No. 11 Guthrie a 41-40 win. It was like the wind had been knocked out of the Chickasha Sports Arena.

Even with the loss, it’s a positive response to the difficult time Chickasha (6-10) had on Saturday. Dominique Golightly finished with 19 points, while Taylor Sylvester scored 11 all in the second half. Sylvester even had a block on the winning play. It was her extended arm that prevented a close range shot as the seconds ticked down. The bounce went immediately back to Guthrie, it was kicked up to Smedley, and she did the rest.

Golightly was the go-to in the first half. Of Chickasha’s 15 points by halftime, she had 11, most from close to mid-range jumpers. Space wasn’t easy to find inside against the Blue Jays, and it’s not like she was the tallest player on the floor. What she did show was an eagerness to find the bucket once she was in and around the block, and that led to shot after shot falling in.

It was clear Chickasha were defending the long shots. A perimeter 3-2 was set up and stingy for the majority of the match. Only Micayla Haynes broke through this regularly to lead Guthrie with six at halftime, including their only three pointer at that point.

Haynes gave Guthrie its first lead of the game with a layup in quick transition in a back-and-forth start to the second half. In similar fashion to last weekend, that’s also when Taylor Sylvester started getting her shots to fall. She put in eight in the third.

At the other end, Love put in 10. The guard put in a tireless shift, perhaps why she started the fourth quarter on the bench. Haynes gave Guthrie the lead by one at the end of the third with a breakaway layup, and a frantic eight minutes were in store.

A pair of Alex Stewart free throws put Chickasha up by one, and another from Meredith Nolan as Guthrie was forced to foul gave them a two point lead inside 10 seconds.