Collinsville girls edge Tahlequah
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Wednesday, February 06, 2013
2/06/13 at 4:39 AM
COLLINSVILLE - Collinsville's girls are getting used to playing close basketball games, but so are Tahlequah's.
A typical Metro Lakes Conference game broke out between them Tuesday night. None of the league's leading teams seem capable of beating one another by more than a few points, and Collinsville's 58-55 win was no exception.
A game that saw 14 ties came down to who was going to make the last play. The Cardinals left that to Madie Vaughn and Shelbie Kirby.
Trailing by a point with 19 seconds left, Vaughn caused a turnover and batted the ball to Kirby, who drove for the go-ahead basket and added a foul shot.
That put the Cards up 56-54, and Tahlequah's Marisa Girdner could manage only 1-of-2 foul shots after an offensive rebound with three seconds left.
The Tigers were forced to foul. Kyrston Wheeler cashed two shots at the other end, and Tahlequah's long inbounds pass was intercepted and time ran out.
"It's been like this for us all season," Collinsville coach Kelly Clarke said. The former Hale, Tahlequah and Verdigris boys coach has seen many close games in his first year at his alma mater after coaching Yukon's girls for four seasons.
The 5A No. 9 Cards are 6-2 in games decided by three or fewer points.
Vaughn and Wheeler added 14 and 11 points as the Cards (13-6, 7-2) took second place in the conference and remained a game behind league-leading Claremore, which won at Bishop Kelley 55-47. Collinsville visits Claremore in what could decide the title Friday night.
Girdner, Casey Beaston and Whitney Wright scored 12 each for the Tigers (12-8, 7-3), whose hopes for a repeat Metro Lakes title are on life support after the loss.
"It's a tough conference, and on a given night, any of the top four can win if you don't have your 'A' game," Tahlequah coach Chad Walker said.
The Tigers had control until Collinsville's winning finish. Girdner and Randee O'Donnell took turns assisting Beaston on three baskets that gave the Tigers a 53-49 lead with 1:27 left.
Vaughn scored from the baseline and O'Donnell hit 1-for-2 from the line and it was 54-51 before Wheeler's bucket with 19.7 seconds left. After a timeout, Vaughn's key defensive play led to Kirby's go-ahead basket.
COLLINSVILLE 58, TAHLEQUAH 55 (girls)
Tahlequah: Beaston 12, Girdner 12, Wright 12, Hadley 9, O'Donnell 4, Blevins 3, Carnes 2, Wade 1.
Collinsville: S.Kirby 20, Vaughn 14, Wheeler 11, Salisbury 7, Driggers 2, Jefferson 2, Smith 2.