Even when you have one of the top scorers in the state, it’s hard to play catch-up against Class 4A No. 1 Harrah. Just ask the Howe Lady Lions.

After a tight first quarter, Harrah used am 11-2 run to open the second period and never let off the gas from there in a 64-38 win over Howe in a semifinal game Friday night at the Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic inside East Central’s Kerr Activities Center.

Harrah improved to 9-0 with the win, while Howe — ranked No. 4 in Class 2A – dropped to 8-3. It was the first time the Lady Lions have lost to an Oklahoma team this season.

Sydnie Womack drained a 3-pointer to end the first quarter and get Howe within 10-9 heading into the second period.

The Lady Panthers responded with the pivotal 11-2 surge (which gave Harrah a 21-11 lead) that included a pair of baskets by Erika Ankey and a 3-pointer, steal and layup by Kiara Lovings. Ankey and Lovings have both surpassed the 1,000-point mark in their careers. In fact, Ankey reached the milestone in a first-round win over Latta Thursday on Wayne Cobb Court.

Lovings hit two free throws and a long 3-pointer in the final 1:20 of the second quarter to put the Lady Panthers on top 33-19 at halftime.

Howe shooting star Jalei Oglesby scored nine points in an 11-6 volley to open the third quarter and her two free shots with 1:46 left in the period got the Lady Lions within 39-30.

The Lady Panthers put the game away with a 17-2 run that started at the end of the third quarter and carried over into the fourth quarter. Lovings, who finished with a game-high 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting — hit a 3-pointer and a mid-range jumper to end that run and put Harrah on top 56-32 with just over five minutes left in the fourth stanza.

Ankey had an off shooting night (5-of-19) but sank 6-of-6 free throws and finished with 18 points for Harrah. Ali Brzozowski patrolled the paint to the tune of 15 points and eight rebounds.

Oglesby, who came into the Mid-America Classic, sponsored by Vision Bank, averaging close to 40 points per game. She ended the contest with 19 points and 11 rebounds and was the only player in the tournament to average a double-double through the first two days of competition.

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Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.