EDMOND -- The moment for Chickasha came too soon.
Having already soared back to a win the week before at area, the late surge never came as Anadarko won, 53-46, in the 4A State quarterfinal round. The Fightin’ Chicks held a one-point advantage at the half.
Anadarko did the job defensively, holding a team that averages 64 points per game to less than 50. Lucious Saldana led the way at the other end, sinking five three-pointers on the way to a game-high 19 points.
Andre Ouze was the inside man, joining his teammate in double-figures with 13 points. Chickasha was able to copy those efforts inside the perimeter when the lanes were open.
Junior Brock Henderson led with 16 points, most of those coming from either inside or at the free throw line. Senior Caleb Nichols finished with 10 points.
Quick transition also worked when it was available. In the second half particularly, senior Brandon Shumway led the fast charge on his way to eight points.
But the three-pointers gave Chickasha trouble. They managed just four, two each for Henderson and Nichols.
Henderson’s first gave Chickasha its first lead of the game in the first quarter, while his second came late with Anadarko already up by eight. Unlike the previous week, though, the three-point well was mostly dry.
Saldana started with the hot-hand, sinking four three-pointers in the first quarter alone. He had two from identical spots in the right corner as Anadarko surged to an 8-2 lead.
After missing the first three attempts, Chickasha made their way back. Magyver Boles was instrumental in a crucial series, starting with back-to-back offensive rebounds that resulted in a Henderson bucket.
At the other end, Boles drew a charge to get the ball back. He completed the job by sinking a close-range jumper off of the feed inside from Henderson, tying things up.
Saldana’s final three of the quarter came at the buzzer, but Anadarko’s lead dissipated thanks to a 7-2 mini-run from Chickasha. A long three pointer from Caleb Nichols and a three-point play from Henderson provided the boost.
Chickasha led by as much as five before the Warriors pulled back within one point by halftime.
They never led by more than that, unable to string together enough buckets under heavy pressure from the Warriors. With Ouze finding buckets inside and the odd three-pointer from Marquis Dobson and Adrian Labrada, Anadarko came back to tie things up in the third quarter and soon lead in the fourth.
Chickasha was forced to foul to stop the clock late, giving Dobson four free-throw attempts that were all makes.