The 2020 Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic was canceled by a vote of 9-2 from board members at a meeting held recently at the Vision Bank branch on Arlington.
The local girls basketball tournament was scheduled to run Dec. 28-30 inside East Central University’s Kerr Activities Center.
This year’s field was going to be highlighted by three local teams — the Ada Lady Cougars, the Latta Lady Panthers and the Vanoss Lady Wolves. All three of those squads will enter the 2020-21 season expected to be contenders in their respective classes.
It marks the first time a board of directors has canceled the popular holiday tournament since 2000.
Once Sequoyah-Tahlequah got a little breathing room in the fourth quarter, the team’s talented guards weren’t about to let a lead slip away.
The Lady Indians played a good game of keep away down the stretch, made clutch free throws and held off Vanoss 57-48 to claim the championship of the 2019 Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic.
The Lady Indians, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, ran their record to 9-1 on the year. Their only blemish was a 53-48 loss to Class 6A No. 6 Booker T. Washington Dec. 14 at the Tahlequah Tournament.
Meanwhile, Vanoss — No. 1 in Class 2A — saw its season-opening 12-game win streak come to an end and dropped to 12-1.
Jones won the rebounding battle 37-28 and had 15 offensive boards and was able to force Vanoss into 20 turnovers with its relentless defensive pressure.
“We knew they were going to be really good. If you’re going to beat them, you’re going to have to do a better job on the boards and not turn the basketball over,” said Vanoss head coach Jonathon Hurt. “It’s hard to emulate what they do and when you don’t see that all year, it takes some time to get adjusted to their speed of the game and their length.”
The Lady Longhorns led 45-37 heading to the fourth quarter before Emily Wilson hit a 3-pointer and scored on a putback to get Vanoss within 45-42.
Rileigh Rush hit a free shot for Vanoss with 6:27 to play to make it 47-43, but tournament MVP Lexy Keys answered with two free throws of her own to push the Jones lead back to six with 5:55 showing.
Smalls Goudeau hit a bucket for Sequoyah-Tahlequah with just over four minutes left in the game to put her team on top 51-43, and Lizzy Simpson fouled out for Vanoss at the 3:57 mark. Those two plays began to signal the beginning of the end for the Lady Wolves.
The Lady Indians went 6-of-6 from the free-throw line in the final 3:08 — including four from Keys — all while milking precious time off the clock with each possession.
“In the end, we made free throws down the stretch and took care of the basketball, and that was the difference,” said Sequoyah-Tahlequah head coach Justin Brown. “We spread them out. Size is their strength, and guards are our strength. We had the lead and took advantage of our speed on the outside the last four or five minutes, and that made the difference.”
The Lady Indians led by as many as 10 during a 20-12 run in the second period, but a free throw by Emrie Ellis and a 3-point bank shot by Wilson just before halftime made it 27-21 at the break.
A Keys jumper midway through the third period put Sequoyah-Tahlequah ahead 34-27. Vanoss responded with nine consecutive points, including six by Simpson. Her basket with just over two minutes left in the period gave Vanoss a 36-34 lead and had the pro-Lady Wolves Kerr Center crowd rockin’.
However, the Lady Indians outscored Vanoss 11-1 over the final minutes of the third period — including a 3-pointer and a mid-range jumper by Baylee Davis — to build a 45-37 lead and set the stage for the fourth quarter.
Hurt said the entire Mid-America experience should pay dividends for the Lady Wolves on down the road.
“I’m really proud of the kids. We played some of the best teams in the state for three straight days and looked pretty good throughout. We can learn from this because we’re going to play other good teams … It will help us in the long run,” he said.
Simpson led the charge for Vanoss despite her early exit. She finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, both team-highs. Wilson tossed in 14 points and hit four 3-pointers, and Ellis chimed in with 12 points, six rebounds, six assists, three blocked shots and two steals.
Keys played every bit of the MVP role for Sequoyah-Tahlequah. She finished with a game-high 25 points, hit 15-of-16 free throws and had five steals.
“She’s our leader. She does a little bit of everything. She handles it, shoots it and plays great defense,” Brown said. “What I’m most proud of is she hooks up on both ends of the floor. She’s not just out there to shoot it. She’s going to guard you — I don’t know how many deflections she gets in a game. She just makes everyone else around her better. Kids like that are hard to come by, and we’re lucky to have one.”
Goudeau added 10 points and nine rebounds for the winners, while Jaide Long followed with eight points, including a pair of 3-point baskets. Jessica Mackey also scored eight points off the bench and had two triples of her own.
Ironically, Sequoyah-Tahlequah wasn’t one of the original eight teams that were selected to compete in the 2019 Mid-America Classic, sponsored by Vision Bank. Another team dropped out in Mid-November, and the Lady Indians jumped at the chance to enter the Mid-America field.
“There’s a reason this tournament is considered one of the best. I’ve been to other big tournaments over the holidays, but the way our kids were treated and the way the tournament is ran is just on another level,” Brown said. “We had a great time, and we appreciate all the hospitality here. We couldn’t be more thankful to be here and honored to be a part of it. It’s unfortunate for the way it worked out for the other school. But like I said, we’re honored to be here. I’ve always held this tournament in high regard, and we enjoyed it.”
Hyrdo-Eakly sent a clear message to the rest of Class A Friday at the 2019 Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Tournament: “We’re the team to beat.”
The Lady Bobcats broke open a close game with a dominant second half and cruised by Canute 68-38 in the tournament’s fifth-place game.
Top-ranked Hydro-Eakly improved to 10-1 on the year and completed a season sweep of No. 2 Canute, which dropped to 12-3. The Lady Bobcats defeated Canute 67-57 back on Nov. 22.
Hydro-Eakly led just 25-21 at halftime and Canute pulled within 28-26 on a free throw by Haley Schreck at the 5:54 mark of the third period.
The Lady Bobcats responded with seven straight points, including a fast-break layup and a 3-pointer by Kira Berkey that stretched the Hydro-Eakly lead to 35-26 at the halfway point of the third quarter.
Canute trailed 45-35 heading into the fourth quarter before the bottom really fell out.
After Madison Faylor hit a 3-pointer at the 5:21 mark to get the Trojanettes within 51-38, Canute would never score again.
Hydro-Eakly ended the game with an impressive 17-0 volley to run away with the figure and establish its dominance in Class A.
The Lady Bobcats put up an incredible 65 shots compared to 31 for Canute thanks in part to 18 offensive rebounds. The Hydro-Eakly defense also forced a whopping 36 Trojanette turnovers.
Rachel Berry finished 6-of-10 from the field and made 9-of-11 free shots on the way to a game-high 21 points. She also had five rebounds and five steals.
Berkey added 17 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Five other Hydro-Eakly players scored at least four points.
Kyle Smith led Canute with 11 points and seven rebounds, both team highs, off the bench. She hit 5-of-7 field goals and also had three steals. Faylor ended up with eight points, six rebounds and three steals.
Jones dominated the boards and used a stiff defense to stifle short-handed Christian Heritage Academy and rolled to a 55-31 win Saturday night in the third-place game of the 2019 Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic at East Central University’s Kerr Activities Center.
The game featured a battle between two of the top teams in Class 3A. The fourth-ranked Lady Longhorns improved to 6-1 on the year, while No. 2 Christian Heritage dipped to 6-3.
The Lady Crusaders were without the services of senior starter Lexie Davis, who suffered a knee injury during a semifinal loss to Vanoss on Friday but was still able to earn a spot on the all-tournament team.
CHA didn’t have an answer for Jones’ post players Tirzah Moore and Caley Young. Moore scored a game-high 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field, while Young finished with 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. The Lady Longhorns ended up with a 41-20 rebounding edge. Moore and Young also had three steals apiece and were instrumental in helping their team force 19 CHA turnovers.
Christian Heritage stayed close for the first four minutes but Jones used a 13-3 run to take a 17-7 lead after Moore hit a layup for the first bucket of the second quarter.
Things went from bad to worse for the Lady Crusaders from there. Jones limited CHA to 2-of-12 shooting in the second period and outscored the Lady Crusaders 17-4 to build a 32-11 halftime lead.
Jones scored the first six points of the third period to stretch its lead to 38-11.
CHA standout Rylee Langerman had a productive outing with 15 points, eight rebounds and four steals. Myka Parrish just missed double figures with nine points and Grace Littlejim followed with seven to round out the Lady Crusader scoring.
Nine different players reached the scoring column for Jones.
Kingston had three players in double figures and used a big second half to hustle past Hartshorne 88-46 in the seventh-place game Saturday at the 2019 Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic, sponsored by Vision Bank.
The Lady Redskins, expected to be contenders in Class 3A entering the season, improved to 3-5 on the year. Kingston entered Mid-America play ranked No 13.
Hartshorne, ranked No. 2 in Class 2A, has struggled offensively throughout the tournament and left town with an 8-3 mark.
Kinston led just 19-17 after the first quarter but used a 15-9 run in the second to carry a 34-26 lead into the halftime locker room.
The Lady Redskins kept the pressure up and outscored Hartshorne 17-11 in the third period and 17-9 in the fourth.
Kassie Bailey led the KHS charge with 19 points. She sank 5-of-7 3-point shots and finished 7-of-13 overall. Bailey also had four assists.
Bri Henderson scored 15 points for Kingston, while Tyla Bohannon registered a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Jaylee Moore hit five 3-pointers and led the Lady Miners with 17 points. Ashton Hackler just missed double digits with nine points.
The Lady Redskins out-rebounded Hartshorne 39-16.
Kingston is expected to get a boost next month when junior Avri Weeks returns to the lineup after recovering from knee surgery.
Sequoyah-Tahlequah hit 10 of its first 16 field goals and held Jones at bay in the fourth quarter of a 56-46 win over the Lady Longhorns Friday night in the semifinals of the 43rd Annual Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic.
The semifinal showdown featured a battle of two of the top teams in Class 3A in the top-ranked Lady Indians (8-1) and No. 4 Jones (5-1).
Sequoyah-Tahlequah led 20-12 after the hot start, but Jones got a 3-pointer from sharpshooter Bailey Ely and a fast-break basket by Caley Young in the first 90 seconds of the second quarter to get the Lady Longhorns within 20-17.
The Lady Indians finished the second period on a 10-5 run and led 30-22 at halftime.
Young scored nine of her 11 points in a big 14-11 third-quarter spurt by the Lady Longhorns and her old-fashioned three-point play at the 1:18 mark gave her team a 36-35 advantage. She registered a double-double with 11 rebounds.
The Lady Indians responded with an 8-0 run — including a three-point play and a putback by Bailey Davis — that put Sequoyah-Tahlequah back on top 43-36 with 6:11 left in the fourth quarter.
Jones got within six on a putback and three-point pay by Tirzah Moore with 2:21 left that made it 48-42, but the Lady Longhorns couldn’t get closer.
Small Goudeau scored 13 points and had six steals and four rebounds for Sequoyah Tahlequah. Jordan Gann hit 6-of-7 field goal and also finished with 13 points and grabbed a team-best eight rebounds for the winner. Lexy Keys chipped in eight points.
Bailey Ely hit four 3-pointers and helped Jones stay close with 14 points. Tirzah Moore also hit double digits with 11 points and had five blocked shots.
Sequoyah-Tahlequah will play for the Mid-America championship at 8 p.m. Saturday, while Jones slides into the 6:30 p.m. third-place contest.
Canute held Kingston to 21 percent shooting in the first and waltzed to a 47-32 victory over the Lady Redskins in consolation play Friday at the 43rd Annual Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic, sponsored by Vision Bank.
The Trojanettes, No. 2 in Class A, improved to 12-2 on the season, while Kingston — No. 13 in Class 3A — slipped to 2-5.
Kingston, which trailed 28-17 at the break, made just 3-of-15 shots in the first quarter and went 3-of-13 in the second period for a combined 6-of-28 (21.4) by halftime.
Canute outscored Kingston 10-6 in the third quarter to stretch its lead to 38-23 and led by 20 — at 47-27 — after a 3-point basket by Haley Schreck with 3:51 remaining in the game. The CHS senior led a balanced Trojanette offense with 12 points.
Madison Faylor followed with 10 points for Canute, while teammate Kirstyn Strain just missed double figures with nine points. Strain drained seven 3-pointers in Canute’s first-round loss to Christian Heritage Academy but was just 1-of-6 from beyond the arc against Kingston. As a team, Canute hit just 3-of-21 3-point attempts.
Kylie Savage and Kylee Smith both scored seven points for the Trojanettes and combined for 18 rebounds — 11 for Smith and seven for Savage.
Kingston got nine points from Brit Henderson and seven points and eight boards from Danna Wagnon.
It will be an All-Class A battle in Saturday’s fifth-place game when Canute battles Hydro-Eakly. Kingston is set to play Hartshorne to tip things off in the 3 p.m. seventh-place contest.
Hydro-Eakly and Hartshorne went blow for blow during a back and forth first quarter during their consolation matchup Friday afternoon at the 2019 Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic.
Then, the bottom fell out for the Lady Miners.
The Lady Bobcats started the second quarter on a 17-1 run, repeatedly turning Hartshorne turnovers into points on the way to a 59-35 victory.
Hydro-Eakly, No. 2 in Class A, improved to 9-1 on the year, while Harthorne stumbled to 8-2.
The Lady Miners led 9-8 after the first quarter and it could have been more, but Hartshorne missed six free throws in the period.
Hydro-Eakly then ramped up the defensive pressure in the second frame. The Lady Bobcats forced 20 first-half HHS turnovers and 13 came in the second half. Hydro-Eakly had nine steals in the second period, including three by Kira Berkey.
Hydro-Eakly outscored Hartshorne 21-6 in the second period to turn a close game into a 29-15 halftime lead.
The Lady Miners got within 12 at 37-25 after a free throw Ashton Hackler at the 3:10 mark of the third quarter, but after a late Hyrdo-Eakly flurry extended the Lady Bobcats’ lead to 43-25 heading in the final period.
The Lady Bobcats scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter and watched their lead swell to 51-25.
The two teams ended up with a combined 65 turnovers — 39 for Hartshorne and 26 for the Lady Bobcats.
Rachel Berry led the way for Hyrdo-Eakly with 16 points and a team-high five steals. Kira Berekey was next with 15 points, four rebounds, four steals and three assists. Macey Buss added seven for the winners.
Courtnee Sensibaugh scored a game-high 19 points for the Lady Miners, including a 13-of-20 performance from the free-throw line. She also ended up with six rebounds and five steals.
Taylor Stufflebean just missed double figures for Hartshorne with nine points. She went 6-of-6 from the charity stripe and had five rebounds.
Hydro-Eakly will play for 5th place at 4:30 p.m., while Hartshorne will start things off in the 3 p.m. seventh-place contest.