In a season of near misses, this one was especially painful for coach Jay Wood and the Kingfisher girls basketball team.
Tuttle’s Kady Fryrear stole a pass on one end and then made an acrobatic shot on the other while being fouled.
Her three-point play with just over three seconds to go lifted the Lady Tigers past KHS, 36-33.
Fryrear’s heroics and Kingfisher’s missed 3-pointer on the ensuing play ended a potential upset for the Lady Jackets on the road Tuesday night.
“We’ve been right there in all of our losses,” said Wood after his team fell to 6-8. “We’ve just got to figure out a way to get it done.”
Seven of Kingfisher’s defeats have come against ranked foes.
Tuttle is currently No. 17 in 4A and has also been the case in a majority of the Lady Jackets’ losses, they led 19-17 at halftime.
The Lady Tigers, though, stormed back to take a 31-24 lead entering the fourth quarter.
KHS marched its own way back as Katelyn Stolz knocked down a 3-pointer and Melody Wilfong and Britt Taylor added buckets as KHS eventually tied the game at 31-all.
After Tuttle reclaimed the lead, Stolz knotted it up again when she made a pair of free throws with 1:31 to play.
After a Tuttle miss, Kingfisher chewed more than a minute off the clock before calling a timeout with 13.8 to play.
Hanna Matthews received the inbounds pass, but Fryrear ultimately snatched her pass attempt out of the air. Fryrear’s go-ahead bucket on the other end was an over-the-shoulder flip without looking at the basket.
She made the free throw for the three-point margin.
Brooklyn Whipple’s desperation 3-pointer to tie the game at the buzzer just missed.
Stolz had 12 points to lead KHS.
Whipple scored 10 and had a team-high four rebounds.
The loss also dropped KHS to 4-6 in Canadian Valley Conference games.
Jackets grab big
conference road win
It appears Kingfisher responded well to the challenge from its coaches.
The Jackets put together a solid shooting display from long range in the first half, and then one from the free throw line in the second, to beat Tuttle 57-40 on the road Tuesday night.
It was the Jackets’ second Canadian Valley Conference win over Tuttle, which entered the game ranked 13th in Class 4A and on a seven-game win streak.
Among those wins was handing John Marshall, ranked third in the class, its lone loss of the season.
“If we didn’t show up ready to play, we definitely could have been beaten,” said coach Jared Reese, whose team moved to 13-1 overall and 10-0 in the conference. “We shared the ball a lot better than we did at Washington and we were really good defensively almost all night.”
Tuttle dared KHS to score from the outside most of the game and the Jackets obliged with six first-half 3-pointers.
Two came from Trey Green, who scored 11 points as the Jackets built a 16-8 lead in the first.
That advantage grew to 37-19 at halftime.
The Tigers’ Garrett Rouse heated up in the third quarter while Kingfisher cooled off.
Rouse scored 10 as Tuttle cut Kingfisher’s lead to 10 entering the fourth.
Rouse finished with 22, but no other Tiger scored more than six.
And when Tuttle eventually cut Kingfisher’s lead to nine points, the Jackets pulled it out and made Tuttle come out of its sagging defense.
“Once we did that, they had to foul us and our lead just continued to get bigger,” Reese said.
Although Kingfisher had only two second-half field goals, and none in the fourth quarter, it did go 15 of 17 from the foul line. That includes 13 of 15 in the fourth while limiting Tuttle to just six points.
Jett Sternberger made all 12 of his free throws and finished with 14 points.
Green led the team with 16.
Matthew Stone scored 12 points, 11 in the first half, and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.