On paper, Wednesday’s consolation championship showdown between Shawnee and Cyril figured to be one of the most attractive of the 12 games played at this week’s Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic. But the Lady Wolves (No. 5 in 5A) took away the suspense early and had more than enough cushion to hold off a late rally by the Lady Pirates (No. 1 in Class A) en route to a convincing 45-38 victory.
Shawnee (5-1) trailed just once (at 2-0) and took command with a dominant third-quarter performance. The Lady Wolves — who led 25-18 at intermission — held Cyril without a field goal for almost seven minutes after the break and took their biggest lead of the night at 37-21 when junior center Caitlyn Ramirez hit a layup off a feed from junior guard Kelsee Grovey with 25 seconds left in the third.
The Lady Wolves took just three shots (all misses) in the first 7:12 of the final period, though, and Cyril (10-2) pieced together a 13-2 run to briefly make it a game.
Emily Horn scored seven of her 10 second-half points over the final 4:19, and she had a pair of baskets — the first a tough baseline 10-footer with a defender all over her and the second a long jumper from the corner with 1:18 left — to highlight a 10-0 spurt that pulled the Lady Pirates to within six at 37-31.
Cyril center Shelbi Skaggs answered a pair of Ramirez free throws (Shawnee’s first points of the quarter) with a conventional three-point play with 56.7 seconds left that started with her putback of an offensive rebound and made it 39-34, but Cyril couldn’t get closer.
“The kids played extremely well — they came out really focused,” said Shawnee coach Wendi Wells, whose club suffered its first loss of the season to Anadarko in overtime Monday then beat Byng, 61-30, Tuesday. “(The Lady Pirates) are such a big team for Class A. They’re a good team.
“It was a good week for us,” she added. “We have to use it as a learning experience and make it something that will help us the rest of the season.”
Ramirez — held to two points on 1-of-6 shooting in the first half by the 6-1 Skaggs — started Shawnee’s pivotal third-quarter spurt with a turnaround off an assist from Taylor Fluke with 6:51 left in the period, then Grovey — who joined Ramirez on the all-tournament team — added a pull-up jumper at the 4:45 mark and drove the lane to bank in a point-blank shot just over a minute later to extend the lead to 31-19.
Ramirez then hit a tough baseline jumper over Skaggs to extend the lead to 14, and free throws by Micaela Yu and Ramirez over the next 1:35 gave the Lady Wolves their biggest lead of the game. Although Horn finally got Cyril’s first basket of the quarter with 1:04 left, a Ramirez layup off a nice assist from Grovey sent Shawnee to the fourth quarter still leading by 16.
Shawnee answered Horn’s layup 44 seconds into the game with a 9-0 run over the next three minutes that featured Fluke’s only three baskets of the game and a 3-pointer from point guard Mya Tramble (also her only points of the night).
Yu’s three-point play — also started by a putback of an offensive rebound — ignited a 7-0 run over the final 58 seconds of the opening quarter that sent Shawnee to the second with a 19-7 lead, and the Lady Wolves still led by 12 (24-12) after Grovey drained a jumper off a feed from Fluke with 3:42 left in the half.
Cyril trimmed the deficit to 24-16 when Skaggs banked in a putback of an offensive rebound at the 1:53 mark and finished the half on a 6-1 run, but Skaggs’ bucket was her team’s last for more than eight minutes.
“I don’t think you could ask for a better effort on defense, but we have to make shots,” Cyril coach Jeff Fletcher said after watching his team — which lost to 3A No. 2 Bethel Monday and manhandled Wellston Tuesday — miss 23 of its first 30 shots before hitting seven of nine in the fourth quarter. “I was pleased with our effort. Shawnee earned everything they got.
“I wish we could have shot better, but overall I’m pleased with what we did this week,” he added. “This is a tremendous tournament. Everybody in the community has done a great job of making us feel welcome.”
Ramirez had her third big second half in as many days and finished with a game-high 14 points (after hitting 3-of-5 shots over the final two periods), 11 rebounds and three steals in 28 minutes of action, and Grovey bounced back from a tough opening-round performance with her second double-digit scoring effort (11 points) and five rebounds in the win.
Point guard Shelbie Laughlin had 13 points and Horn added 12 to lead Cyril, which finished an anemic 1-for-14 from beyond the arc. Skaggs, who scored in double figures Monday and Tuesday, hit her only two shots and finished with seven points and five rebounds, despite picking up her fourth foul with 1:13 left in the third quarter and sitting for more than four minutes.