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Short-handed Lady Huskies salvage final tourney victory

Pawhuska Lady Huskies Haley Malaske (diving on to floor) fights for a rebound during a recent home basketball game against Blackwell. The PHS girls won Saturday in their third outing at the Dewey tournament. JACK BUZBEE/J-C CORRESPONDENT
Pawhuska Lady Huskies Haley Malaske (diving on to floor) fights for a rebound during a recent home basketball game against Blackwell. The PHS girls won Saturday in their third outing at the Dewey tournament. JACK BUZBEE/J-C CORRESPONDENT

DEWEY — It was no ordinary dog and pony show between the Lady Huskies and the Wesleyan Christian School Lady Mustangs.

After taking just its second lead of the game in overtime, Wesleyan Christian made it hold up for a 48-45 consolation-round victory at the Bulldoggers Basketball Tournament.

Haley Malaske put up Dennis Rodman-like numbers for the Lady Huskies. The PHS senior scored 11 points to go with 20 rebounds (including 11 on the offensive end) and nine steals. Andie Sweeden scored 16 points to lead Pawhuska, which finished the contest with all five of its eligible players on the floor.

The Lady Huskies (5-7) played all three games of the Dewey tourney without starting sophomore Keylee Kirk, due to a recent eye injury sustained at her home. Kirk is expected to return to the lineup for coach Austin Minshall this week, however.

Emily Meadows and Jocelin Merciez combined for 35 points as the Lady Mustangs nosed past the Lady Huskies at the wire to gain their third season victory.

In a game that was tied nine times, Wesleyan Christian finished with late flurries in each regulation period.

Pawhuska led most of the opening quarter before Meadows and Merciez hit three straight jumpers in the final minute to give WCS a 10-8 advantage. The Lady Huskies held a 17-10 advantage in the second stanza, only to see a three-point buzzer-beater by Merciez tie the score, 20-20, at halftime.

Pawhuska tried to pull away again in the closing minutes of the third quarter, but a three by Merciez and lay-up by Liz Rush off an in-bounds pass kept the Lady Mustangs within a point, at 33-32. Early in the fourth quarter, Pawhuska extended its lead to seven points on buckets by Andie Sweeden, Sarah Phillippi and Haley Malaske.

WCS came back on a three-pointer and driving layup by Meadows, and a corner trey by Merciez made it a one-point game (41-40) with a minute left in regulation. After Meadows tied the score on a free throw with 18 seconds to play, Pawhuska came away empty from two final free-throw tries with one second remaining.

Missed free throws plagued the Lady Huskies, who missed all seven attempts in the fourth quarter and finished three for 19 overall. WCS hit nine of 16 from the line. Fouls also were a problem for the Lady Huskies, who lost starting center Sydney Sellers late in regulation and had two other players on the brink of disqualification.

Kaitlyn Thomas gave Wesleyan its first lead since the opening quarter with a bucket 30 seconds into the OT. Meadows made it 48-43 with free throws and a short jumper. After cutting the lead to three with 40 seconds left, Pawhuska got the ball back with 10 seconds remaining. But, a last-second shot to tie the score sailed wide of its mark.

Other game statistics for PHS showed sophomore Sarah Phillippi with seven points and six rebounds, and freshman Sellers with six points and eight rebounds. Sophomore Genie Herren scored five points, junior Sweeden had four steals and freshman Mary Jo Upchurch made a pair of steals.

Thomas had 11 boards for WCS, which was out-rebounded — 40 to 33 — by the PHS squad.

In their opening game of the tourney last Tuesday, the Pawhuska girls lost by a point, 30-29, to the Rejoice Christian School Lady Eagles of Owasso.

The Lady Huskies finally got some redemption in their final tourney outing Saturday morning — knocking off Green Country Christian for seventh place. PHS was to play Tuesday at Nowata, where the old gymnasium remains in use due to construction delays at the new site.

Pawhuska will host Perry this Thursday at Oren Terrill Field House. (The girls’ game starts at 6:30 p.m. followed by the boys’ game around 8.) On Friday, the PHS squads are to play at Ramona versus Caney Valley. Next week will feature contests at Hominy on Thursday and home makeups with Barnsdall on Friday.

Mustangs 48,

Lady Huskies 45

Pawhuska 8 12 13 8 4 — 45

Wesleyan 10 10 12 9 7 — 48

Pawhuska Lady Huskies (4-7) — Andie Sweeden 16, Haley Malaske 11, Sarah Phillippi 7, Sydney Sellers 6, Genie Herren 5, Mary Jo Upchurch 0. Coach: Austin Minshall.

Wesleyan Christian Lady Mustangs (3-4) — Jocelin Merciez 18, Emily Meadows 17, Kaitlyn Thomas 4, Alicia Deal 3, Desirae Plummer 2, Liz Rush 2, Sierra Whitehead 2. Coach: Rocky Clark.

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