The Lady Red faced off against defending state champs Ft. Gibson in an elimination game on Thursday, Feb. 28, in the OSSAA Class 4A Area Basketball Playoffs.
The game was exciting and went into overtime but the Lady Red could not pull out the victory and were beat 50-42.
The loss ends an incredible season for the Lady Red who finished with 22 wins against just 5 loses.
The Lady Red suffered two loses during the playoffs. Both against teams who are now going to the state tournament. Holland Hall will open against Muldrow and Ft. Gibson will face Victory Christian.
The Lady Red opened with the ball and immediately could tell that Ft. Gibson was in a triangle-and-2.
This is a defense that matches up two girls in full denial and leaves the other three in a triangle to protect the paint. Those three defenders play a zone and rotate.
The goal of the defense is to not let the other teams best two players beat you and force their other girls to win the game. Ft. Gibson chose to guard Macee Barnes and Rory Geer in man-to-man.
Ft. Gibson showed a different defense not to long after their triangle-and-2 look. They played a 3-2 zone packed inside the three-point line only extending when a guard caught the ball close to the three-point line.
This is a defense that hopes to control the drive and force the other team to beat you from outside the three-point line.
Neither team scored for the final 3:04 of regulation. Junior Elizabeth Cash was fouled and made both free throws to tie the game.
In their final game, the Lady Red had only one lead, a two point lead after Cash made two free throws to start the over time period.
The game was a little odd as none of the quarter splits were close. Ft Gibson won the first two quarters by 7 and 8 points while the Lady Red won the second two quarters by 6 and 9 points. The over time was an 8 point differential as well.
Both teams shot in the low-30s percentage wise, but the Lady Red managed just 13.0 percent from the three-point line. Only three players scored for the Lady Red.
Macee Barnes lead Grove with 16 points and 9 rebounds. She also had 2 assists and 1 steal.
Rory Geer had 14 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal.
Cash had 12 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal.
Jaden Redus had 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals.
Teagan Dixon had 3 rebounds and 3 assists.
Mikalle Pair got into foul trouble early and didn’t accumulate and counting statistics.
Elyssa Teel grabbed a defensive rebound.
It was a strong season for the Lady Red. They will graduate four players and hope the younger girls can fill some big shoes. Macee Barnes, Jaden Redus, Elyssa Teel, and Teagan Dixon will all be graduating from the Lady Red.