SKIATOOK - Pack your bags Lady Red fans because the State Tournament starts Thursday, March 12, and you're in it!

The Grove Lady Red basketball team added another chapter to the story of the season by defeating the Fort Gibson Lady Tigers Friday night by a score of 38-24. The win earned the team the Area Championship and clinched a bid in the Oklahoma Class 4A Girls State Tournament.

Grove 38, Fort Gibson 24

Both teams started out a little slowly struggling to make any shot. The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two sets of free throws. Incredibly, the game stayed without score for the next five-and-a-half minutes. The Lady Red finally broke through the drought when Baylee Gregg was able to lob a pass over the defense and found Kolby Boyett who hit a left-handed turnaround scoring two points. The score was 3-2 in favor of Ft. Gibson with 1:58 to go in the first quarter. On the very next possession, Anna Bacon grabbed a rebound as she was going out of bounds under the rim. She flipped the ball back to Boyett who hit another shot in traffic. Boyett was fouled on the shot and hit the free throw giving the Lady Red a 5-3 lead.

The Lady Red started the second quarter with a 5-3 lead and quickly extended it taking a 16-5 halftime lead. Both teams were content to slow the game down and make sure they were getting a shot they wanted.

Only four total points were scored in the third quarter with each team contributing two. The score at the end of the third quarter was 18-7 in favor of the Lady Red.

The game really changed pace and picked up the pace in the fourth quarter. Ft. Gibson started pressing which allowed the Lady Red to get out and run a little more. A total of 37 points were scored in the quarter with 20 of those points belonging to the Lady Red.

The Lady Tigers battled hard getting the game within seven points with 2:00 minutes to go.

As the torrid pace continued, the Lady Red began extending their lead once again. The Lady Tigers started fouling early, but credit the Lady Red for shooting 70 percent as a team from the free throw line. The Lady Red added 50 percent shooting from the both the field and the three-point line. Grove's strong defense held Ft. Gibson to just 19.4 percent shooting from the floor in the game.

"I'm very proud of the girls. They have worked very hard to get here and all of their hard work has paid off. Now we hope to keep our season moving forward one game at a time," said Grove Head Coach Richard Bassett.

The Lady Red have proved they can win games in a variety of ways this season including this game where leading scorer Rory Geer only had 6 points. Geer played solid defense and ended up with 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals. As teams continue to try to stop Geer, other members of the Lady Red continue to step up for their team.

Boyett lead the team with 11 points in this game. She also had 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 1 blocked shot. Elizabeth Cash made 8 of 11 free throw attempts finishing with 10 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 assist. Mikalle Pair hit three three-pointers giving her 9 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal. Dawn Blake added 2 points on a pair of free throws. Baylee Gregg had 1 assist. Megan Gibbs had 1 rebound and 2 assists. Bacon had 2 rebounds and 1 assist.

The Lady Red play against the Lady Eagles from Weatherford High School at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany. The game will start at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 12. With a win, the Lady Red would play a semi-final matchup at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 13. If the team wins that game, Grove would play for a state championship at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 14.