An early Bixby lead disappeared as Class 6A’s seventh-ranked Sapulpa seized the momentum with a strong second quarter outburst in capturing a 53-36 Frontier Valley Conference victory over the 10th-ranked Lady Spartans last Friday night, February 7, at Whitey Ford Field House.
The loss snapped an eight-game winning streak for the Lady Spartans, 12-7. The challenges continue this week for Bixby as No. 3 Booker T. Washington visits Tuesday, Feb. 11, and No. 6 Union invades Whitey Ford Field House next Friday, Feb. 14.
Bixby, led by freshman Alyssa Nielsen and junior Kate Bradley, jumped out to an early 11-4 lead and were holding a 15-5 advantage entering the second quarter. Nielsen six points in the opening stanza while Bradley contributed five points. Nielsen gathered in an impressive assist from senior Deonna Owens to score with one second left.
Sapulpa, however, caught fire in the second quarter, led by sharpshooter Temira Poindexter, who scored 15 of her game-high 19 points in the period to spark the Lady Chieftains to a 29-20 halftime lead.
“We had a few mental lapses defensively that allowed them to go on a run in the second quarter,” Bixby head coach Tina Thomas said afterward. “Poindexter got hot … she’s a good player. After that, we just couldn’t get the pendulum to swing back in our direction.”
Despite battling, Bixby faced another nine-point (37-28) deficit entering the fourth quarter. Sapulpa scored the first six points of the fourth frame to pull ahead 43-28 with 4:49 showing in the game.
“We just didn’t have any energy about us offensively or defensively. I thought we played a little timid. We didn’t do a good job defensively and we couldn’t get into any rhythm on the offensive end. We’ve got to find a way for our best shooters to get good shots,” Coach Thomas added.
“You have to credit them, the only people who expected us to win tonight were us. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board … we just weren’t doing a lot of the little things right.”
Bradley, Owens and Nielsen lead Bixby in scoring with eight points each. Meredith Mayes added six, Gentry Baldwin four and Janiyah Hendricks two. Behind Poindexter’s 19 points were Sapulpa teammates Alexis Lewis with 12 points and Stailee Heard with 10.
Bixby ran its winning streak to eight games last Tuesday, February 4, with a 57-38 victory at Owasso as eight Lady Spartans scored in the Frontier Valley Conference outing. Bixby led 25-22 at halftime but outscored the Lady Rams 32-16 in the second half to coast home with the win.
Hendricks and Nielsen each scored 12 points to pace Bixby’s balanced attack, followed by Bradley with 10, Baldwin eight, Gracy Wernli with six, Avery King and Mayes with four each and Jynelle Mays with one point.