Lady Jackets head down familiar road
Despite clutch shot by Walker, KHS defeated by Inola
Peyton Walker has provided heroics before for the Kingfi sher girls basketball team.
This time, they weren’t quite enough.
Despite sending the game into an unlikely overtime, fourth-ranked Kingfisher was dealt a 47-46 defeat by No. 18 Inola in their regional final matchup in Cleveland.
Miller Weast capped a huge offensive night by driving down the left side of the lane and banking in a left-handed shot to give her team a onepoint lead with 10 seconds left in the extra period.
Kingfisher, without a timeout, didn’t get the chance to respond as a pass intended for Walker was batted away and never recovered as the buzzer sounded.
The defeat sent KHS into the consolation bracket in this week’s area tournament in Noble. The Lady Jackets (205) will play Sallisaw at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the first of what will need to be three wins in as many days to return to the state tournament.
The fact KHS was in the lead in overtime - much less in it - didn’t seem a probability late in regulation.
The Lady Horns led 40-36 with over a minute to play as Kingfisher was forced to foul to get near the bonus.
Once Kingfisher got to six fouls, Lacey Moss delivered what appeared to be the dagger when she nailed a 3-pointer for a 43-36 lead with 48 seconds to go.
After the Lady Jackets failed to answer, Inola’s Addison Mootry missed the front end of a one-and-one, a sign of things to come.
Walker came back to drill a trey, pulling KHS within 43-39 with 18.9 seconds to go, prompting coach Taylor Young to use her final timeout.
Jaci Moore was fouled coming out of the break, but she, too, missed the front end.
Emily Myers put up a 3-pointer that missed, but her sister Abbie was there and was fouled trying to score the putback.
The freshman missed the first free throw with 5.5 seconds to play, but made the second to pull Kingfisher within 43-40.
Raegan Snider then fouled Moore, sending her back to the line with 4.5 seconds to go.
Yet again, Moore missed the front end and Walker grabbed the long rebound.
The junior turned, weaved her way up the floor and let loose a runner as time expired.
And drained it. The Lady Jackets had new life.
Weast got Inola going in overtime as she drove and dished to Moss, who put her team up two.
Walker replied with a 3-pointer, giving Kingfisher a one-point lead it held until the final 10 seconds.
Weast’s game-winner gave her 20 for the night.
In the early stages, it appeared Kingfisher might not only win, but run away with the game.
The Lady Jackets used a 12-0 run to stake a 15-3 lead just over midway through the first.
It was 18-5 with 2:15 still to play in the first when Addy Matthews drained her third 3-pointer.
She had 11 of the team’s points.
However, she didn’t score again and Kingfisher offensive fortunes followed suit for an extended period.
The Lady Jackets managed just two points over the next two quarters of game time.
Not until Raegan Snider notched a three-point play at 2:11 of the third did Kingfi sher’s offense again begin to find some steam.
In the interim, Inola rattled off a 22-2 run.
The Lady Jackets trailed by three entering the fourth. Snider and Emily Myers each scored five points in the fourth to help mount the comeback.
Snider finished with 12 points while Walker led the team with 15.
Kingfisher isn’t in unfamiliar territory.
The 2022 Lady Jackets won three consecutive games at area to advance to state.
The three wins were the end of five victories in six days as the team had to finish up the regional at the beginning of the week after it had been delayed by weather.