Girls basketball: Roland falls at Stilwell
STILWELL — For the third time this season the Roland and Stilwell High girls basketball teams faced off.
The teams had split their previous two matchups but unfortunately for Roland the rubber match went to the home team.
Stilwell jumped out to an early lead and held off a Roland fourth quarter comeback attempt as the Lady Indians celebrated their senior night victorious as they topped the Lady Rangers 54-50 in a NOAA Conference game Tuesday night.
“We haven’t been getting off to a good start lately,” Roland coach Greg Pratt said. “We’ve been digging ourselves too big of holes and it’s something we’ve been trying to correct. The good teams aren’t going to let you comeback when you’re down 10 or 15 points.”
Stilwell’s Jaycee Soap scored a game-high 22 points with three assists, three steals and three blocks to lead the Lady Indians. Julia Bruner scored 12 points with six rebounds and two steals while Caylin Livers scored 10 points with four assists.
Stilwell began the game on an 8-2 run and led by as many as seven in the first quarter before Roland cut the deficit to 15-11 after the first quarter.
The Lady Indians got their lead up to as many as eight in the second before the Lady Rangers cut the lead to 20-17 following a Makya Perryman 3-pointer and a Saylor Kemp layup forcing Stilwell to call a timeout.
That was the closes Roland got until late in the game as Stilwell closed the second on a 9-4 run including a 3-pointer by Livers just before the first half horn sounded to give the Lady Indians a 29-21 halftime lead over the Lady Rangers.
Roland had their share of clean looks in the first half they just weren’t able to convert on enough of them.
“Against a 2-3 zone or any defense if you get shooters open and you’re not converting you’re going to have a hard time beating the good teams,” Pratt said. “Especially trying to beat good teams on their home floor.”
Perryman and Kemp both scored 10 points to lead Roland with Kemp adding nine rebounds while Cassidy Floyd and Destany Cain both scored nine with Floyd adding 10 boards. Kristin McKinney chipped in with seven points and six boards and a pair of steals.
Stilwell (15-6) who came into the game ranked No. 19 in Class 4A, increased their lead over Roland in the third as they went into the fourth leading 42-29.
Kaitlyn Martinez hit a shot from half-court that banked in for Roland at the end of the third.
Roland (16-6) who also came into the game ranked — No. 18 in 4A — showed no quit and gave a valiant effort in making a fourth comeback.
A Perryman 3-pointer made it 47-39, the first time Roland had been within single digits since early in the third.
Floyd would convert a layup to make it 51-47 with 1:39 left in the game but Roland couldn’t get that one opportunity to get a chance to tie the game.
Pratt was pleased with his team’s ability to keep fighting, especially in a tough environment.
“I was pleased with the toughness and character,” he said. “Instead of folding our tent which would’ve been easy in this environment at Stilwell.”
The Lady Rangers hit five of their six free throw attempts in the first half finished the game only 7-of-16 from the charity stripe.
Executing early on both offensively and defensively will be key for Roland if they want to have an extended run in the playoffs.
“We did a lot of good things,” Pratt said. “It goes back to executing the defensive game plan and executing on offense. With playoffs coming up those are the things you have to do to advance.”
Roland wraps up their regular season when they host Poteau tonight at 6:30 p.m.
The Lady Rangers topped the Lady Pirates 69-44 back on Jan. 9.