Oklahoma Class B girls basketball: Roundup of semifinal state tournament games
The Class B girls played their semifinal games Thursday night at State Fair Arena. Here's what happened:
Kiowa 45, Lookeba-Sickles 44
Keeli Cox hit the shot of her life.
Or so she, her teammates, coaches and Lookeba-Sickles fans thought.
As the clock was winding down to the final buzzer, Cox scrambled to get beyond the 3-point line before turning around and hoisting up a jumper.
It hit nothing but net. The buzzer sounded as the ball fell through the hoop.
Cox and her teammates began celebrating. She had hit a game-tying 3-pointer against Kiowa that was sending the game into overtime, with the winner heading to the state championship game.
After a couple seconds, it was Kiowa's bench and crowd that erupted. The officials called the basket a 2-point shot. Since there was no time on the clock, No. 5 Kiowa won, topping No. 4 Lookeba-Sickles 45-44.
Problem was, the shot wasn't a 2. It was a 3-pointer.
Numerous photos and videos posted following the shot show Cox clearly behind the 3-point line, which means the game should have went into overtime. Instead, Kiowa is advancing to the finals.
"I was on the opposite side of the floor from the shot," Lookeba-Sickles coach Lance Scales said. "I asked the official, 'Are you 100% sure that was a two?' He looked at me and held up two fingers and said it was a two."
Scales said two of the three officials told him they didn't see the play. The third official, who was nearest to the play, called it a 2-point shot.
There was a short discussion among the crew following the basket, but they didn't change their original call.
"You hate to see it end that way, but we're not giving it back," Kiowa coach James Pannell said. "And I think (the officials) had it right. A two is a two."
Kiowa led 36-22 heading into the final frame, but Lookeba-Sickles, which shot 8.7% in the first half, was able to outscore Kiowa 22-9 in the final quarter to make it a game.
Lookeba-Sickles forced a turnover on an inbounds play with less than 10 seconds left, getting the ball under its own basket. After missing one 3-point attempt, Cox grabbed the ball before hitting her shot at the buzzer.
Cox led Lookeba-Sickles with 11 points. For Kiowa, Kye Stone and Chloe Crawley led all scorers with 12, but also scoring in double figures was Audrey Johnston (11) and Brasen Hackler.
Lomega 72, Varnum 50
Lomega was out of sorts in the first half.
The highest-scoring team in the state had only 26 points at halftime. It was shooting 28% from the field and had missed three of its four free throws. It was also turning the ball over to Varnum plenty.
All of it changed after halftime.
Top-ranked Lomega earned another trip to the state championship game Saturday after topping No. 3 Varnum 72-50 on Thursday. Lomega had six girls score in double figures and pulled away quickly in the third quarter. Lomega beat Varnum in the state championship game last year, with Varnum being the then-defending champions.
"Coach came in at halftime and told us we needed to keep shooting it," sophomore Darcy Roberts, who scored 15 points, said. "We knew if we kept working, they would go in."
Lomega (26-0 overall) made 18 of its 40 shots in the second half, scoring 46 points after the break after making only three baskets in the second quarter, scoring eight points.
Even with its struggled offensively, Lomega was stout defensively. Varnum shot 25.5% from the floor and couldn't make ground, even when it forced turnovers and missed shots.
"I didn't think we played a really great game today," Lomega coach Kevin Lewallen said. "But we did enough."
Joining Roberts in doube-figures scoring for Lomega was Emma Duffy (12), Hensley Eaton (11), Abby Smart (11), Sydni Walker (10) and Ady Wilson (10).
Lomega will face the winner between Kiowa in the championship game at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Reporter Cameron Jourdan covers high school sports across the Oklahoma City metro and state. Have a story idea for Cameron? He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter at @Cam_Jourdan. Support Cameron’s work and that of other Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today at oklahoman.com/subscribe or by using the link at the top of this page.