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All is not lost for Lady Jackets

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KHS upset by Elk City, but coach feels a run to area attainable

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    KHS SENIOR Jenni Beebe fights for a loose ball with an Elk City player during the teams’ Class 4A district matchup last week. Elk City upset the Lady Jackets 40-38. [Photo by Chris Simon/www.simon-sports-photos.smugmug.com]

Gerrett Spears said there’s not an excuse for last week’s shocking loss to Elk City in the teams’ Class 4A district championship matchup.

He also said there’s no reason to lose hope.

The Elkettes avenged an earlier 14-point loss to KHS by handing the Lady Jackets a 40-38 defeat last Friday at the APB.

It sends KHS into the consolation bracket at this week’s regional - one the Lady Jackets will host - and one loss from elimination.

“I told them I didn’t do a good job preparing them mentally for the game,” Spears said. “That lies on me.

“But we still have a great shot at getting to area and, once you get there, anything can happen.”

The Lady Jackets begin that quest at 1:30 p.m. Thursday against Cushing, which was defeated 49-32 by Woodward in their district.

Should KHS win, it will also need victories Friday and Saturday to move on to area.

For much of last week’s game, it appeared KHS was destined for the winner’s bracket.

Kingfisher twice had leads of nine points in the second quarter and led 30-23 late in the third.

This was despite KHS shooting 29 percent for the game. That included going 2 of 18 (11 percent) from 3-point range.

That contributed to the Lady Jackets struggling to solve Elk City’s zone defense.

Helping keep KHS in it was defense and rebounding.

Elk City was only 30 percent from the field and committed 20 turnovers.

The Lady Jackets also had an astounding 18 offensive rebounds and had 14 more total rebounds than did the Elkettes.

However, those extra opportunities on the offensive end didn’t often enough result in points.

Kingfisher had just six second-chance points and also turned it over 22 times of its own. Those turnovers led to 16 Elk City points.

The Elkettes tied the game early in the fourth quarter and eventually took the lead on Baylee Miller’s 3-pointer.

That’s when Kingfisher went straight to senior Jenni Beebe, who responded with four consecutive points. Those buckets were followed by a Britt Taylor free throw for a 38-36 KHS lead with about 2:30 remaining in the game.

But that was also the last point KHS would score until four seconds remained.

Elk City’s Norie Flowers tied the game on her team’s next possession.

The Elkettes took the lead with 1:10 to play as it beat Kingfisher back in transition, which led to an easy bucket for Abby Jo Robbins, her only field goal of the contest.

After a Rayland Garner missed 3-point attempt, KHS got one more possession while down two, but turned it over with 23 seconds to play.

After a foul, Miller made two free throws to give her team a four-point lead with 12 seconds left.

Kingfisher was out of timeouts and after Garner drove and scored with under five seconds to play, the Elkettes were able to watch the clock run out on their upset win.

Flowers led her team with 14 points while Miller scored all seven of her points in the fourth quarter.

Garner scored 17 points for KHS and also had nine rebounds.

Beebe scored nine points to go with nine boards.

Kingfisher was 8 of 13 from the foul line while Elk City made 14 of 20 attempts.

“That’s the first time this year we’ve lost to a team we should have beaten,” Spears said. “It just came at the worst time.”

KHS is now 14-9. The previous eight losses were to ranked teams. Seven were to top-10 teams and five to teams among the top-five in their class.