RUSH SPRINGS — The Amber-Pocasset Lady Panthers returned to the Grady County Tournament's top spot.
The Lady Panthers entered the tournament ranked fifth in the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association’s Class 2A poll and battled Class A No. 9 Ninnekah in Saturday's championship game. A 17-6 second quarter helped the Lady Panthers pick up a 57-51 win in Rush Springs for their third GCT title in four seasons.
Am-Po is now ranked fourth in the OSSAA’s Class 2A poll.
In a game that featured plenty of scoring from a couple of duos, it was Am-Po's duo that came out on top. Devynn Harris and Caton Muncy outscored Ninnekah's Jayah Rodriguez and Tristan Baker 45-39 in the victory.
The second quarter proved to be a major factor in the result. Outside of losing that quarter by 11, the Lady Owls won the fourth quarter by seven points and only lost the first quarter and second quarter by a combined two points.
The two teams went back and forth in the first quarter, and the Lady Owls held a 9-7 lead before Am-Po went on a 5-0 run to go up 12-9. The Lady Panthers held a 12-11 lead after the first quarter.
Muncy and Harris combined to score Am-Po's 12 first-quarter points.
Up 17-15, the Lady Panthers went on a 9-0 scoring run in the second quarter to go up by double digits. Rodriguez broke Ninnekah’s scoreless stretch, but Am-Po went to the second half up 29-17.
The Lady Panthers built on their lead in the third quarter, going up 16 points after Muncy made a basket and free throw to make the score 36-20.
Am-Po held a 43-30 advantage after three quarters, and the Lady Owls made one final run in the fourth quarter.
Rodriguez led Ninnekah’s 21-point fourth quarter, scoring 13 of those points. She went on a solo 7-0 run in the period to get the Lady Owls within seven points.
Ninnekah could not get any closer than six points the rest of the game.
Harris led the way for Am-Po and was the game’s leading scorer, tying with Rodriguez. She hit five triples in the win and finished the game with 23 points.
Muncy had 22 points for Am-Po. Caleigh Jeffries, Allison Stewart and Abbie Savage completed the scoring for the Lady Panthers.
Rodriguez ended the game with 23 points for Ninnekah. Baker joined Rodriguez in double figures, scoring 16 points for the Lady Owls.
Am-Po defeated Verden in the first round and took down Lexington in the semifinals to advance to its fourth GCT title game in a row. The Lady Panthers won their second tournament title this season.
Ninnekah defeated Dibble in the first round and Minco in the semifinals. The Lady Owls made their first GCT title game appearance since 2010 and were looking for their first GCT title since 2002.
Minco beats Lexington
The Minco Lady Bulldogs ended the tournament with a big victory. Competing in the third-place game, the Lady Bulldogs earned a 65-38 win over the Lexington Lady Bulldogs.
Minco’s first win of the tournament came against Rush Springs. Lexington beat Alex in the first round.