Story and photo by: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The No.11 Lady Sandites (17-9) fell in an early hole to No. 9 Owasso (19-8) after Leiloni Culley hit a two to draw first blood. Freshman Holly Kersgieter was not far behind her, tying it up, but then Terryn Milton hit back to back baskets for a 7-2 lead that the Rams would hold for the duration of the first.
Freshman Isabella Regalado hit a two to for the Sandites to start the second period down 11-10, but the Rams began pushing their lead as Mya Bhinhar and Rachel Skalnik hit baskets to make it 16-10. Junior Oklahoma State softball-commit Sydney Pennington hit a two to get the Sandites back into the game, but then it was Milton and Bhinhar with back-to-back baskets.
Pennington, freshman Destiny Johnson, and senior Cierra Scott ran up four from the charity stripe over the course of the second period, but that was all the Sandites would manage as Owasso increased their lead to 29-16 by half time.
Despite being in a heavy hole, the Sandites had already proven once this season their ability to rally against the Rams in their first meeting of the season when the girls exploded for a 16-5 second-quarter and ultimately won that game.
Sand Springs came into the half firing on all pistons as Gloria Mutiri hit a two and sank her “and-one” free throw, followed by a three-point basket by Cierra Scott to put the game back within single digits.
Milton sank the first Ram basket of the half, then Pennington hit a free throw and Cierra Scott forced a turnover on the corresponding possession getting in some great defensive coverage for a jump ball call. Unfortunately Sand Springs also gave up a turnover and Jordan Kunka and retook a 10-point lead.
Bhinhar added a free throw, but missed the second and Pennington rebounded it and returned it for a layup. Bhinhar retaliated with a two-pointer, but Mutiri hit one of her own then Kersgieter sank a three to make it 37-30.
Bhinhar hit the basket again, Scott added a pair from the charity stripe, then Kunka and Skalnik hit three freebies of their own before Kersgetier hit a two to finish off the period within single digits at 43-34.
Milton scored first to start the fourth, going 1-1 from the free throw line off a foul by Pennington. Kersgetier had a three-pointer fall short, but Bhinhar was right on line to retake a significant 46-34 advantage.
Sand Springs went on a run as Pennington and Scott each hit layups and Scott got the “and-one” to make it 47-39. It was Owasso’s game from there however as Pennington sent Milton to line for a 1-1 and the Lady Ram sank both. Bhinhar hit a two, Milton hit another free throw, then Culley added a basket for their biggest lead of the game at 54-39.
Kunka sent Mutiri to line for a 1-1 and the Lady Sandite sank both. The clock was too low for a realistic return by that point, however, and ultimately the Rams prevailed to State with a 58-42 victory.