Maybe the Coalgate Lady Wildcats believed the hype.

When last week began, coach Jim Jenson’s squad was one of only a dozen teams in the entire state — girls and boys included — that was still undefeated. The only other girls teams without a loss at that time were Alva (No. 2 in Class 3A), Hammon (No. 1 in Class B), Oklahoma Bible (No. 4 in Class 2A), Pocola (No. 2 in Class 2A) and Jenks (No. 2 in Class 6A).

The Lady Wildcats carried a 16-0 record and No. 5 ranking in Class 2A into the Murphy-Roberts Gymnasium in Stonewall Friday night. Awaiting Coalgate was a Lady Longhorn team that had gotten off to an impressive 18-1 start itself — with its only setback a loss at Latta on Dec. 20.

Still, Coalgate — the bigger of the two schools — would have had to be declared the favorite by Vegas oddsmakers. Heck, even Stonewall head coach Christie Jennings herself said her team was the underdog.

However, as the old cliché goes, that’s why they play the games.

The Lady Longhorns came out blazing in the contest, and after the final seconds ticked off the clock before halftime, Stonewall found itself on top 26-13.

And while Coalgate made a gallant comeback, slicing their double-digit deficit to four in the final period, the night belonged to Stonewall.

SHS starters Felicia Logsdon, Tesia Worcester and Rena Serpa went a combined 16-of-24 (66.7%) from the field against a Coalgate club that prides itself on defense.

And on the other side of the ball, Coalgate got just a combined 12 points out of its players who don’t stand 6-1.

Maybe it was because the Lady Longhorns were playing in the cozy confines of the Murphy-Roberts gymnasium, but they were getting every bounce to go their way. In fact, a huge play came in the second half when Worcester saved the ball from going out of bounds and threw it up for grabs back on to the court. Logsdon grabbed the jump ball and the hosts scored on the possession.

Now if Jennings can capture the performance she got from her team in a bottle and the Lady Longhorns can repeat it throughout the playoffs, Stonewall should make reservations to the Big Dance.

Bring on Frontier (No. 1 in Class A).

“We’ve got to get there first,” Jennings said when the Lady Mustangs were mentioned. “We still have a long ways to go.”

And don’t think for a second that Coalgate should stop believing the hype. Led by super post player Mallory Walker, who finished with a game-high 21 points against Stonewall despite a sound defensive strategy employed by Jennings’ troops, the Lady Wildcats will definitely cause opponents fits when the Class 2A playoffs arrive. And no one in the CHS camp will be satisfied with anything less than a trip to the 2A State Tournament.

Bring on Washington (No. 1 in Class 2A).