Whether to play Terryn Milton in the final of the Tournament of Champions on Friday was a game-time decision for Owasso coach Matt Sweeney.
The Rams’ leading scorer from last season had been out since Oct. 1 with a hip injury, and wasn’t cleared to play until Thursday.
Sweeney wasn’t eager to rush her back into action, but that all changed five minutes before tipoff Friday at the Mabee Center.
“(Milton) came to us and asked if she could play and we went and asked her mom,” Sweeney said. “She said we could have Terryn for two minutes per quarter, and I said we were gonna get everything we could out of her in those two minutes.”
Milton contributed seven of her nine points in the fourth quarter as the Rams rallied from a 15-point deficit to turn back powerful Class 4A No. 4 Muldrow, 63-53.
With the return of Leiloni Culley from concussion protocol two days earlier, the Rams finally could put the talented senior trio on the floor that had helped lead them to a 6A runner-up finish as sophomores.
Frustrated by injuries last season, Mya Bhinhar played likely her best game since March 2016 in a semifinal win over Class A No. 1 Seiling. She was named MVP of the elite tournament, despite missing nearly seven minutes of the second half of the championship game with four fouls.
Junior newcomer Tiya Douglas averaged 15.3 points in three games to join Bhinhar on the all-tournament team, and the Rams (4-2) received strong support performances from Avery Vancuren, Rylie Boone, Sierra Williams and Kianna Cunningham.
Suddenly, the Rams appear to have unlimited depth and seem to be somewhat better than the No. 14 ranking they carried into the tournament.
“I know they’ve had injuries and (early losses) knocked them down, but our kids know how good they are,” Muldrow coach Jana Armer said. “We scrimmaged them in the summer and it was a bloodbath. 6A coaches had better wake up because they’re not a No. 14 team.”
Muldrow found out the hard way. Led by 6-foot-2 sophomore standout Taylen Collins, the Bulldogs seemed almost serenely in control for the first two days of the tournament and half of a third.
They led 30-15 at halftime of the final before Owasso started hitting shots and turned on the gas.
Williams, Vancuren and Douglas hit 3-pointers to spark an offensive frenzy, and when Muldrow point guard Hannah Boyett was forced to the bench with four fouls, Owasso’s speed and athletic ability simply overwhelmed the Bulldogs.
Bhinhar, Douglas and Collins were joined by Holland Hall’s Gabby Gregory, Westmoore’s Jessi Murcer and Seiling’s Macy Gore on the all-tournament first team.
Gregory scored 41 points in a 57-55 win over Sand Springs in the seventh-place game and set a record for points in a three-game tournament with 98. Murcer, the University of Oklahoma signee, was second in scoring with 77 points. That tied Depew’s Rose Hammond in 2005 for the fifth-highest three-game series in tournament history.
Gore led Seiling to a first-round upset of 6A No. 5 Westmoore and shared the spotlight with twin sister Karly Gore, who scored 19 in a win over Victory Christian in the third-place game.
Collins, who can play center or run the floor and dish the ball to teammates, finished third in tournament scoring with 48 points and also had 28 rebounds and 11 assists.
Bhinhar had 15 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four blocked shots in the semifinal win over eventual third-place finisher Seiling, went 17-for-19 from the free-throw line over three days and led the tournament with 16 assists.
Douglas, daughter of University of Tulsa assistant coach Tari Cummings, shot 52.6 percent from the field and was one of only seven players to score in double figures all three days.
Player, school Ht Cl. Ppg.
x-Mya Bhinhar, Owasso 5-9 Sr. 12.0
Taylen Collins, Muldrow 6-2 So. 16.0
Tiya Douglas, Owasso 5-10 Jr. 15.3
Macy Gore, Seiling 5-8 Jr. 12.7
Gabby Gregory, Holland Hall 6-0 Jr. 32.7
Jessi Murcer, Westmoore 5-8 Sr. 25.7
Player, school Ht Cl. Ppg.
Hannah Boyett, Muldrow 5-7 Jr. 14.0
Karly Gore, Seiling 5-10 Jr. 13.0
Destiny Johnson, Sand Springs 5-8 Jr. 15.3
Delaney Nix, Tahlequah 5-8 Sr. 16.0
Whitney Outon, Westmoore 6-0 Sr. 9.0
Gem Summers, Victory Chr. 5-8 Jr. 12.3
Scoring: Gabby Gregory, Holland Hall 98; Jessi Murcer, Westmoore 77; Taylen Collins, Muldrow 48; Delaney Nix, Tahlequah 48; Tiya Douglas, Owasso 46; Destiny Johnson, Sand Springs 46; Hannah Boyett, Muldrow 42; Karly Gore, Seiling 39; Taya Green, Tahlequah 39; Macy Gore, Seiling 38.
Rebounding: Karly Gore, Seiling 32; Gabby Gregory, Holland Hall 32; Jaxie Wakley, Victory Christian 32; Kendra Gillispie, Westmoore 31; Whitney Outon, Westmoore 31; Taylen Collins, Muldrow 28; Destiny Johnson, Sand Springs 25; Holly Kersgieter, Sand Springs 22; Johnna Orange, Holland Hall 22; Chalynn Mayes, Muldrow 21; Delaney Nix, Tahlequah 21.