February 11, 2013

Chicks hold on for one good half at Anadarko

The Express-Star

ANADARKO, Okla. — Chickasha freshman center Taylor Sylvester got a defensive rebound about three minutes into the second quarter of the Lady Chicks’ loss at Anadarko on Saturday night.

She put the ball under her chin with her elbows out, as players are taught to do, and caught an Anadarko player with an elbow while trying to protect the ball.

The referee called her for an offensive foul, and head coach Christy Edelen had seen enough, earning a technical foul for letting the official know how she felt about the call.

“I was just trying to make a point,” Edelen said. “I didn’t know if it would change anything, but your team has to know at some point that you’re going to stand up for them.”

It didn’t appear to change anything, as Sierra Hamilton was called for an offensive foul on an identical play just a few minutes later.

Chickasha lost 67-33 to the No. 1 Lady Warriors in a very physical game, but once again played a close first half with one of the top teams in the state, regardless of class.

“Honestly, I think we played Anadarko two of the best first halves of anybody they’ve played all year,” Edelen said.

The Lady Chicks were coming off a road win against Noble the night before. Anadarko had a game the night before also, but rested its varsity players against the Oklahoma City Knights.

“There’s a lot we’ll be able to draw from [the game],” Edelen said. “You’re playing the No. 1 defending champions on their home floor in February, and they had fresh legs walking in here. There’s a lot of growth there.”

Because of their game against Noble on Friday night, Chickasha did not have the normal amount of game preparation for Anadarko. The Lady Chicks’ Thursday practice was focused on Noble.

The game started with two technical free throws for Dominique Golightly, after Anadarko was assessed a technical foul for a late jersey change.

When the game started, the Lady Chicks had turnovers on seven possessions in a row, before scoring their first field goal on a Brooklin Burns layup with 4:22 left in the first quarter.

“It’s kind of hard playing Anadarko when you come off a game the night before, because I’m just one of those superstitious people that we’re not going to practice for Anadarko on Thursday before we play Noble,” Edelen said. “The game preparation and stuff wasn’t like normal where we have a couple of days, and I think that kind of showed up in the early turnovers.”

Chickasha played well enough defensively that the poor offensive start didn’t get the team in a large deficit. The Lady Chicks trailed 15-9 after the first quarter and 29-21 at halftime.

Anadarko took control of the game in the third quarter, putting it away by outscoring Chickasha 27-4 in the period.

The Lady Chicks held Anadarko guard and Oklahoma State signee Lakota Beatty to eight points in the game, but her younger sister, Ashley, picked up the slack.

Ashley Beatty scored 25 points, 16 of them in the third quarter.

“We held Lakota Beatty to eight points, and three of those came late,” Edelen said. “So we basically held her to five, and that was our goal, to make someone else beat us.”

Golightly was Chickasha’s leading scorer with six points. Alex Stewart scored five, and Kieley Clift and Kelsi Gore scored four points each.

Chickasha is now 9-11 after splitting the back-to-back, and is scheduled to play two home games this week.

At 6:30 p.m. tonight, the Lady Chicks will host Durant. Chickasha beat Durant, 63-51, on Jan. 18 in Durant. Friday night, Chickasha is scheduled to host Shawnee for senior night.

Tonight's game is Chickasha's first Coaches vs. Cancer game.

Chickasha High School students that wear pink will receive free admission to the game, with student ID.

During halftime of the boys game, the girls basketball team will be in the stands with collection buckets for "Miracle Minute, trying to get as many donations as possible within one minute for the American Cancer Society.

Cancer survivors will be recognized between games.