Jenks girls survive in overtime to beat Owasso in 6A regional opener
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Friday, February 22, 2013
2/22/13 at 4:29 AM
BARTLESVILLE - Jessica Washington often holds the spotlight for the Jenks girls basketball team, as a McDonald's All-American should.
But the Trojans needed all of their players Thursday night to fend off Frontier Conference rival Owasso in a first-round, overtime death struggle in the Class 6A regional tournament.
The Trojans won 72-69 because Josie Halsmer had 15 points and nine rebounds and Callie Crase made two key 3-pointers in overtime and Paige Luellen made four treys and Taylor Nissley made a key steal down the stretch.
Incidentally, Washington scored 16 points and made four key foul shots in the final 39 seconds as the ninth-ranked Trojans prevailed in a wild, back-and-forth struggle to avenge a 71-70 loss in the teams' last meeting 20 days ago.
"We came together as a team. It was a group effort, and that's the way it's going to have to be from now on if we're going to win (the state title)," said Halsmer, a senior who scored 11 of her points in the first quarter.
Jenks (15-9) advanced to play Bartlesville in Saturday's 1:30 p.m. regional final. The host and fifth-ranked Bruins (19-2) rolled past Sand Springs 68-25 behind Hailey Tucker's 20 points.
Bartlesville upset the Trojans 74-62 in Jenks last year to claim its first regional title in 20 years.
Owasso, which had an army of its own heroes Thursday, finished 9-14 for first-year head coach Matt Sweeney and bade bittersweet farewells to seniors Taylor Koelsch, Kylie Penning, Raven Boyd and Savannah Waters.
"I told our younger girls I have raised the bar on my expectations for this program," Sweeney said.
Dru Clark, a junior, scored 17 to pace four Rams in double figures. Penning added 15, Koelsch had 14 and Taylor O'Dell, a sophomore, added 13.
In the previous meeting, Owasso built a 29-point lead and held on to win 71-70. This one was equally entertaining.
The Rams led after one quarter, but the Trojans went on an 18-3 blitz to open a 10-point halftime lead. Owasso recovered to trail by one after three quarters, took a brief lead on Jackie Ball's layup to start the fourth quarter, missed a chance to win at the end of regulation, then scored the first four points of overtime.
Freshman Rachel Skalnik scored a putback off the glass and O'Dell's foul shots gave the Rams a 64-60 lead in the extra session, but Crase's trey with 2:54 left revived the Trojans. Her next one gave them a 68-65 lead.
Owasso wasn't done. O'Dell's 3-pointer gave the Rams their last lead at 69-68 with 1:06 left, but Washington's foul shots put the Trojans back in front with 39 seconds left, and it came down to Nissley's steal.
Koelsch started a drive down the left side of the lane, but as she went up with the ball, Nissley pinned it against her, pried it out of her hands and passed to Washington, who was fouled.
Washington's free throws made it 72-69 and O'Dell missed from 19 feet and Luellen rebounded with three seconds left.
JENKS 72, OWASSO 69, OT
Owasso (9-14): Clark 17, Penning 15, Koelsch 14, O'Dell 13, Skalnik 2, Waters 2, Boyd 2, Ball 2, Bevan 1, Kunka 1.
Jenks (15-9): Washington 16, Halsmer 15, Luellen 13, Crase 9, Sears 6, Taylor 5, Peterson 4, Nissley 2, Prince 2.
BARTLESVILLE 68, SAND SPRINGS 25
SS (3-17): Rogers 8, Pennington 5, Fusler 4, Rankin 4, Crow 2, Scott 2.
Bartlesville (19-2): Tucker 20, G. Culver 8, O.Culver 8, Brurud 6, Kent 5, Behar 5, Crowd 5, Keleher 4, Benyshek 4, Wilson 3.
Original Print Headline: Jenks survives in overtime against Owasso
Mike Brown 918-581-8390
Jenks' Paige Luellen is guarded by Owasso's Emily Bevan during the 6A regional tournament in Bartlesville. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World
Owasso's Taylor O'Dell tries to get around Jenks' Josie Halsmer (right) during Thursday's game in Bartlesville. JAMES GIBBARD/ Tulsa World