COWETA – A near-perfect first half by the Colcord Lady Hornets gave way to a second half meltdown as the Lady Hornets’ season ended with a 50-45 loss to Oklahoma Union in the Area Consolation semifinals Friday afternoon.
The Lady Hornets seemed poised to pull their second big upset of the Class 2A Area III tournament after a 15-5 second quarter put them up 24-13 at halftime.
Colcord had already beaten Ketchum in the Regional semifinals last Thursday. The Lady Warriors went into that game with just three losses on the season and a 13 game winning streak before the loss to the Lady Hornets.
But the Lady Cougars (24-1) would not suffer the same fate, answering with a strong defensive quarter of their own, outscoring the Lady Hornets 18-4 in the third period to surge into a 31-28 lead.
The Lady Hornets helped the Lady Cougars’ cause – first by committing six turnovers in the period, then by losing their cool at the end of the quarter. After several close calls that went against them the Colcord girls were rattled and frustrated, resulting in a technical foul in the final minute of the period.
The Lady Cougars shot 37 free throws on the game, making 26, including 21-of-39 in the second half. In comparison, the Lady Hornets (11-10) shot 10 free throws for the entire game.
But Colcord would pull themselves together in the fourth quarter, eventually tying the game at 33 on a three-point play by Jordan Pike. OU’s Taylor Benson would answer with a three on the other end and Sunny Smart added two free throws to put the Lady Cougars back up by five with 5:30 to play.
The Lady Hornets would rally behind an unlikely source, as sophomore reserve Tristan Sanders came off the bench to score five straight to tie the game at 38 with four minutes to play.
But Benson would answer with another three, this one off the glass, to put the Lady Cougars in the lead for good.
Colcord would get within one twice – once on a three by Emily Farris with 1:30 to play and once on a three by Pike with 30 seconds left – but the Lady Cougars made five of six free throws in the final 30 seconds of the game to seal the win and a spot in the Area Consolation Championship.
The Lady Cougars will face Sallisaw Central, who suffered their first loss of the season 35-21 to Pawnee in the Area Championship, tonight at 6:30 in Coweta for a final shot at the state tournament. Hannah Thomas led the Lady Cougars with 17 points, 11 of those coming in the second half. Benson finished with 16 points, 14 in the second half while Smart added 10.
Pike led a balanced Colcord offense with nine points, while Shelley Swicegood finished with eight.
Oklahoma Union 50, Colcord 45
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
OUHS 8 5 18 19 50
CHS 9 15 4 17 45
OUHS: Thomas 17, Benson 16, Smart 10, Green 5, Pitts 2
CHS: Pike 9, Swicegood 8, Spry 7, Prater 6, Sanders 5, Nichols 4, Denny 3, Farris 3