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February 24, 2019 - 00:00
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KHS gets spark from Cortes, scare from Sternberger, dominance from everyone else in 92-50 victory

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    TREY GREEN (21) goes up for two of his 23 points in Thursday’s 92-50 win over Classen SAS. [Photo by Chris Simon/ ]

Top-ranked Kingfisher wasn’t struggling, but hadn’t exactly kicked it into high gear in the first quarter of its regional semifinal against Classen SAS.

With one play, Bijan Cortes sent the Jackets into overdrive.

The sophomore caught a pass in transition, took one dribble, then dunked the ball over a Comet player attempting to take a charge.

The play brought the APB crowd to its feet and set the tone for what turned into a 92-50 victory in a Class 4A regional semifinal.

“We were in control, but when he did that, it was all over,” said head coach Jared Reese after his team improved to 23-1 and advanced to the regional championship game Saturday night.

“They weren’t going to come back from that.”

The Jackets led, modestly, 18-6 after a quarter, but it swelled to 44-16 by halftime as Kingfisher’s defense frustrated the Comets and its offense picked them apart.

“We were doing a lot of things really well,” said Reese.

About the only thing that didn’t go in Kingfisher’s favor was senior guard Jett Stern-berger leaving the game with a knee injury in the second quarter.

Sternberger remained on the floor, grabbing his knee, for several moments after attempting to take a charge. He eventually walked to Kingfisher’s locker room on his own, but didn’t return to the game.

“I’ll be alright. It’s just super stiff today,” Sternberger said Friday morning. “I could have played in the second half, but coach Reese said ‘look at the score.’”

Sternberger entered the game just 34 points shy of 2,000 for his career, but made only a two-point dent in that quest before leaving.

“He basically hit the inside of my knee with his,” said Sternberger of the play. “It’s the same spot when I hurt it against Heritage Hall in football and it just flared back up.”

Plenty of Jackets picked up the slack.

Chief among them was fellow senior Trey Green, also in search of the coveted 2,000-point mark for his career.

Green dominated both ends of the floor after Sternberger’s injury and finished his night with 23 points, 10 rebounds, three steals, two assists and two blocks.

Matthew Stone poured in another 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds while Jarret Birdwell had 10 points and eight boards.

Cortes had 12 points, six assists and three rebounds.

Senior Reece Lafferty knocked down 3 of 4 from 3-point range and scored 15 points.

KHS was 9 of 18 as a team from long range and shot 54 percent overall. The Jackets accounted for 19 assists and out-rebounded the Comets 43-27.

The Jackets host Blanchard at 8 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 23) in the regional championship. They’ve defeated the Lions 91-40 and 72-33 this season.

However, since that last defeat, Blanchard has won four straight including beating No. 15 Seminole and No. 16 Cache in the playoffs.