Aaron Colen, Sports Editor, Aaron.Colen@chickashanews.com
The Chickasha High School girls basketball team had no trouble adjusting to an early start, blowing out the Durant Lady Lions at home Tuesday evening.
The Lady Chicks had to tip off their game less than one hour after the end of the school day, and still beat Durant 68-34 for their 10th win of the season.
"It was kind of rushed," senior forward Sierra Hamilton said. "We all had to get out of school at 3:05 and come down here and get ready as fast as we could, but we pulled together."
The game, originally scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m., was moved up to 4 p.m. because of the weather. Many high school games around the state, even some in Grady County, were canceled or postponed.
Head coach Christy Edelen said she wasn't sure how her team would respond to the change in routine.
"I was worried about it, because we moved it up to 4 and they sit in class all day long," Edelen said. "We don't have any athletics in school on Tuesdays. They came and played hard, and really took it to them right from the get go."
Durant tried to press from the beginning of the game, but it was the Chickasha defense that controlled the game with a matchup zone.
The Lady Chicks were active in passing lanes on the perimeter, and forced Durant into turnovers. Brook Burns had two steals that led to layups in the first quarter.
Chickasha closed the opening period on an 8-0 run, and led 22-10 after one quarter.
"At times, when we run our matchup zone, we have just been standing there and watching what's going on," Edelen said. "We just have to make a conscious effort being in passing lanes, and always matched up out of it, especially with all the height we have, we should be able to do some damage with it."
The Lady Chicks went on a 17-2 run from the middle of the first quarter into the second quarter, and led by 18 at halftime.
Durant, with only eight players suited up for the game, never put a dent in Chickasha's lead. Even when the Lions' guards got past the perimeter of Chickasha's zone, center Taylor Sylvester and Hamilton protected the basket.
"It's working really good," Hamilton said of the zone defense. "Taylor, she's got my back. I'm still adjusting to that three and four spot, but it's easier knowing that she's back there."
Hamilton led Chickasha with 21 points, and hit five 3-pointers.
"I've worked on that a lot this summer, and I like shooting 3's," Hamilton said.
Dominique Golightly scored eight points in the first quarter, and finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Kieley Clift scored eight points and had six assists.
"I just thought we played really well today," Edelen said. "We were working on certain things for playoffs, especially our defense and rebounding and making outlets and getting down the floor. We need to get as many easy buckets as we can."
The Lady Chicks have one more regular season game, at 6:30 p.m. Friday against Shawnee. It will be senior night at the Activity Center.
Shawnee is No. 1 in class 5A, and the Lady Wolves' only loss came on Dec. 8 to 6A No. 5 Bixby in the Bixby Tournament.