Chickasha’s playoff path will be the long one.
Unranked Weatherford upset the No. 6 Lady Chicks, 48-45, at the CHS Activity Center in a regional semifinal on Thursday. The Lady Eagles sealed an area spot with the win and now play Saturday against either Elk City or Cache.
For Chickasha, a matchup with Clinton in the regional consolation bracket awaits for Friday at 1:30 p.m. They were a pair of late opportunities away from winning, or at least tying, the game and heading to area themselves.
Nothing was safe the way Weatherford shot from long-range. The Lady Eagles strung together 10 three-pointers on the evening and were led by Alexa Harvey’s 21 points.
A late three-pointer from senior Tandra King brought Chickasha back within striking distance of the Eagles and gave her a team-high 18 points for the game. Senior Dominique Golightly finished with 16 points and six rebounds.
Before they could strike, Weatherford first had to find their way to the arc. Chickasha forced three straight turnovers with a three-quarters court trap defense and rode it to an early lead.
Kennedie Helton struck first for the Lady Eagles before another three from Harvey tied things up quickly at 6-6. Later in the second quarter when Taylor Winn struck from distance, all five of Weatherford’s starters had recorded a three-pointer.
Not only were they talented from that distance, but it was tough for Weatherford to find anything inside, mainly, because of senior Taylor Sylvester. On one possession, the 6’ 4” center swatted away two straight shot attempts before the Lady Chicks hit King for a fast-break layup to put them up by six.
Sylvester finished the night with seven blocks and seven rebounds to go with eight points.
In contrast to Weatherford’s long-range game, Chickasha was steadier on offense. Golightly scored eight quick points in the first quarter with swift moves to the bucket to keep the Lady Chicks in the lead.
But Weatherford changed the game quickly. Roberson and Harvey struck with back-to-back three pointers to cut Chickasha’s lead from eight down to two.
Later, Harvey hit another from long-range to give Weatherford its first lead of the game, 34-32. Golightly drove for a layup to tie things up heading into the fourth quarter.
No lead was safe for Chickasha. When Golightly put them up by two again by driving to the bucket, Kiley Stewart nailed a three to give Weatherford the fourth quarter lead.
Harvey followed that up with a floating jumper to heap pressure on the Chickasha offense with two minutes remaining.
King hit a three in the corner to cut the lead from five to two, and Golightly subsequently stole the ball to give Chickasha a shot with less than a minute to go. They ended up getting two opportunities, but the shots never fell.