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Marilyn Smith
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It’s not how you start . . .

January 24, 2024 - 00:00
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KHS rebounds from shaky beginning, soars to 4th straight Buckle title

  • It’s not how you start . . .
    KHS JUNIOR post Raegan Snider (23) scored 11 points in the title game and 15 in the semifinals as the Lady Jackets won their fourth straight Buckle of the Wheatbelt championship. [Photo by Chris Simon/www.simon-sports-photos.smugmug. com]

The first 47 seconds of the Buckle of the Wheatbelt Invitational championship game were a blur to Peyton Walker.

One she wants to forget… if she hasn’t already.

“Let’s not talk about that,” she said.

The final 31 minutes and 13 seconds of the game were more to her liking.

After a horrendous start, Kingfisher gathered itself and dominated No. 16 Weatherford the rest of the way for a 47-32 victory.

The was the Lady Jackets’ fourth straight Wheatbelt title, meaning Walker and fellow senior starter Addy Matthews never lost a game in their own tournament.

It was the second straight victory over Weatherford in the finals.

Early on, it didn’t appear it would happen.

Walker was picked by Weatherford’s Shyla Navarre on Kingfisher’s first possession, leading to an easy layup for Brinlee Glassey.

The next possession saw yet another KHS turnover as Braelee Epp followed her steal with an easy layup.

With just 47 seconds gone, KHS had two turnovers, faced a 5-0 deficit and coach Taylor Young was forced to call a timeout.

The timeout slowed Weatherford’s momentum. The Lady Eagles never got it back.

KHS finally settled in and shots started to fall.

Abbie Myers made two field goals. Talor Mecklenburg and Addy Matthews drained 3-pointers.

Kingfisher closed the quarter on a 15-0 run.

Weatherford’s scoring drought lasted until 5:51 of the second quarter. That made the score 15-7 and was also as close as the Lady Eagles would get the rest of the night.

Walker assisted on backto- back Matthews treys to put Kingfisher up 21-7.

After that, Weatherford only got as close as nine points.

“We knew defensively they really try to pressure the ball, so our girls just needed to settle in,” Young said of her team’s early woes and the necessary timeout.

“Once we did, we were able to get into what we wanted to offensively.”

And when Kingfisher got what it wanted, it took advantage.

The Lady Jackets shot 53 percent for the game.

That included 11 of 18 on two-point attempts as KHS scored 22 points in the paint.

The team was 6 of 14 from 3-point range.

Matthews alone made 5 of her 9 attempts and scored 17 points.

Raegan Snider scored 11 points and had five rebounds.

She and Myers - who scored 9 points to go with six boards - were a big part of the points in the paint.

Mecklenburg and Adlee Friesen scored four apiece.

Walker scored two, but also contributed four assists and four steals.

Snider scored 15 points in Kingfisher’s 57-34 victory against Guthrie in the semifinals.

The Lady Jackets shot 50 percent in that victory.

Up 9-5 after a quarter, KHS built a little more breathing room with an 8-0 run to start the second quarter.

They led by 10 at the half as Matthews made three treys and Mecklenburg another in that frame.

Matthews finished her day with 12 points. She also led the team with six rebounds.

She tied with Walker for the team lead in assists with four. Walker added eight points and four steals as well.

KHS (12-4) has won six straight and 10 of its last 11. The Lady Jackets don’t return to action until Friday when they host Casady. Kingfisher will also host Chickasha at 2 p.m. Saturday in a makeup game from earlier this year.