Lady Sandite basketball stays alive in playoffs with close victory over Union

Freshman Destiny Johnson scored a team-high 15 points in a 41-32 playoff win over Union Thursday night.

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Photography by: Virgil Noah, Marketing Director

The No.11 Lady Sandites (16-7) will play at least two more games after defeating Union (8-15) Thursday night at the Sapulpa Chieftain Center. The way the playoffs are structured, they'll now get to play in the Regional Championship game Saturday at 1:30, but even if they lose that game they still get to advance to the Area tournament. 

Whatever was going on with the girls against Union isn't going to fly against the No.4 Chieftains (20-3). The basket seemed to have a lid on it Thursday night as the girls experienced their lowest scoring win of the season.

The Lady Sandites only had a 10-4 lead to start the second period, and Selena Hitchcock would be the only Sandite to score in that quarter as they barely held their lead 13-11 at the half. The first basket wouldn't even be scored 4:00 minutes into the period when Taylor Malham sank a pair of free throws. 

Both teams kicked it up a notch in the third period as sophomore Gloria Mutiri started things off with a pair of back-to-back two-pointers, followed by a two from Sydney Pennington. Union's Michaela Bethel followed with a pair of twos of her own, but then Sandite freshman Isabella Regalado followed suit with two more. The two teams scored as many points in the third period alone as they did in the entire first half, and the Sandites held the lead 26-22. 

This time it was freshman Destiny Johnson who kicked off the period with back-to-back two-pointers and she added four more baskets before the quarter was over to tie her career-high and lead the game with 15 points, shooting at 55% on field goals and 80% on free throws. 

The lone Sandite senior, Cierra Scott, also had a solid night, scoring 6 and leading the team in rebounds with 8. 

The Sandites brought home the victory 41-32, their third over Union this season. The first time was a 59-39 runaway, but two weeks ago the Redskins narrowed it to 51-41. 

It's fitting that the Regional Championship is also a Highway 97 rivalry game and a chance to play back the Chieftains for losses of 54-43 and 54-40 earlier this season. It won't be easy, however. Sapulpa ravaged Jenks 73-49 in their battle Thursday and will have the home court advantage. 

Photo gallery for this event can be found at: