A strong start and impressive finish highlighted the performance of Bixby High’s girls’ basketball team in last weekend’s Bixby Invitational held in Whitey Ford Field House.
Bixby opened the tourney with a 70-27 romp past Southmoore before falling to eventual tournament champion and Class 6A’s No. 5 ranked team Edmond North, 43-24, before ending the tourney with a third-place finish after a 46-41 overtime victory over Edmond Memorial last Saturday.
The Lady Spartans, 3-1, travel to Sapulpa Tuesday, Dec. 10, to meet the Lady Chieftains, starting at 6:30 p.m. in Sapulpa’s Field House.
The issue was settled early in Bixby’s opener against Southmoore as the Lady Spartans took a 15-2 first quarter lead before leading 28-8 at intermission. A 28-point outburst in the third quarter gave the hosts a 56-20 lead entering the fourth quarter.
“We worked on different things tonight, trying to make sure we worked on the press in a game situation. I thought we made some strides in the half-court offense. This group will work hard and are very coachable,” Lady Spartan head coach Tina Thomas said after the Southmoore game.
Freshman Alyssa Nielsen led Bixby in scoring with 19 points. Freshman Gracy Wernli contributed 14 points and senior Kate Bradley added 12 points.
The Lady Spartans struggled offensively against the talented Edmond North Lady Huskies in the tourney semifinal game. North led 16-6 after one quarter and built a 23-10 cushion at halftime.
Freshman Meredith Mayes led the Lady Spartans in scoring with nine points while 6-1 senior center Graycen Holden topped Edmond North with 19 points.
Bixby fell behind Edmond Memorial, 24-13, at halftime in the third-place game before the Lady Spartans steadily turned things around in the second half. BHS outscored the Lady Bulldogs, 26-15, in the final two quarters to force overtime. In the extra session, Bixby outscored Edmond Memorial, 7-2, to capture the victory.
Freshman guard Gentry Baldwin topped the Lady Spartans’ scoring effort with 16 points.
“Edmond North’s defense was excellent … they stifled our offensive productivity. It was less than a 10-point deficit until the last quarter. If we could have had a shot or two fall it would have been a different outcome.
“We had a great finish against Edmond Memorial. We started off slow offensively. We didn’t get into a flow until the third quarter when Janiyah (Hendricks) and Deonna (Owens) came off the bench and sparked the team both defensively and offensively,” Coach Thomas said.
“Meredith played awesome second-half defense against their senior D1 signee (Katelyn Levings) and was a powerhouse on the boards. Kate Bradley always provides excellent leadership and court management. It was a great OT win for this group,” she added.
Holden was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player while Lady Spartan guard Baldwin was selected by coaches’ votes for the all-tourney team. Edmond North defeated Sapulpa, 60-49, to capture the tourney championship.
2019 Bixby Invitational
BIXBY 70, SOUTHMOORE 27
BHS Scoring – Alyssa Nielsen 19, Gracy Wernli 14, Kate Bradley 12, Gentry Baldwin 9, Meredith Mayes 8, Deonna Owens 4, Avery King 2, Haley Prince 2.
EDMOND NORTH 43, BIXBY 24
BHS Scoring – Mays 9, Nielsen 8, King 5, Baldwin 2.
BIXBY46, EDMOND MEMORIAL 41 (OT)
BHS Scoring – Baldwin 16, Nielsen 9, Wernli 6, Janiyah Hendricks 5, M. Mayes 4, Bradley 3, Owens 3.