Sydney Pennington scores 22 as No. 3 Lady Sandites fall 61-57 to No. 9 Owasso

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The No. 3 ranked Charles Page High School girls basketball team (14-1) traveled to No. 9 Owasso (12-5) Friday night in a battle for the top spot in the Frontier Valley Conference, and the home team toppled the previously undefeated Lady Sandites 61-57 in a down-to-the-wire shootout.

Owasso 61 CPHS 57

1Q CPHS 18-11
2Q Owasso 17-8
3Q Owasso 14-12
4Q All 19-19

Scoring: (Sand Springs) Pennington 22, Regalado 11, Johnson 11, Kersgieter 8, McGee 5. (Owasso) Milton 29, Bhinhar 11, Williams 11, Culley 10.

Free Throws:
(Sand Springs) 13-of-17
(Owasso) 15-of-18
(Sand Springs) 17-of-30
(Owasso) 17-of-34
(Sand Springs) 3-of-16
(Owasso) 4-of-11
Fouls: (Sand Springs) 14 (Owasso) 14

(Sand Springs only)
Offensive Rebounds: Pennington 2, Regalado 2, Johnson 1, Kersgieter 1.
Defensive Rebounds: McGee 8, Pennington 4, Regalado 3, Taber 2, Johnson 1, Kersgieter 1.
Steals: Johnson 2, Kersgieter 2, Pennington 1, Regalado 1.
Assists: McGee 2, Kersgieter 2, Pennington 1.
Blocks: Regalado 1.
Fouls: McGee 4, Johnson 4, Kersgieter 3, Pennington 2, Regalado 1.

The Sandites were lacking starting junior Gloria Mutiri, sitting out with a sprained ankle, and it showed. The Ohio State University-committed volleyballer averages 10.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. The 6'1" center was replaced by 5'9" sophomore Isabella Regalado. Regalado pulled in 5 rebounds for the night, but her size left her with only one block, while Mutiri is notorious for spiking several throughout the night. 

Sand Springs rolled to an 18-11 first period lead with Sydney Pennington scoring 6 to lead all scorers.

The second period was an entirely different story, however, as the Rams came from behind for a 28-26 lead, guided by Terryn Milton with ten points. Sand Springs gave up three free throws to Milton early in the period and she didn't miss a shot. Owasso benefited from a pair of late turnovers for three-straight field goals from Milton, Mya Bhinhar, and Sierra Williams.

The Lady Sandites average a 24-17 halftime lead and hadn't trailed all season till that point.

Things didn't start out much better in the second half as Leiloni Culley scored the opening basket and built a 34-28 lead with a pair of free throws. It was back and forth from there, but Williams ended the period with a layup for a 42-38 advantage.

Kierra McGee hit a three point basket to start the final stanza. Bhinhar hit a pair from the charity stripe, Regalado did the same, then Pennington hit a layup for the 45-44 lead.

Culley took the lead right back, however, and the Rams wouldn't relinquish it till there was less than thirty seconds left. Pennington was a beast for the Lady Sandites in the fourth quarter with twelve points, the most scored by any player on either team in a single period. 

The last two minutes felt like a whole quarter. Milton hit a pair of ones to make it 57-53. Pennington added a pair of her own. The teams exchanged steals, then Owasso burned a timeout with 47 seconds left. A traveling call gave Sand Springs the ball. Destiny Johnson took the first shot, missed, Pennington rebounded, missed, rebounded again and sent it home to tie it up with 30 seconds remaining.

Then Johnson fouled Milton. The Lady Ram hit a pair with 22 seconds left, then Nylia Finch picked off a steal to seal the deal. Culley put the final points on the board and the Rams had toppled a giant.

Both teams are now 7-1 in conference standings.

The Lady Sandites will return to action next Tuesday at Jenks (5-10), then will host 5A No. 17 Bishop Kelley (5-9) that Friday. Owasso will travel to No. 19 Sapulpa (6-8) next Tuesday and will host Muskogee (6-8) next Friday.