Empire senior Kaelyn Allensworth didn’t have time to bleed.
Still, in the second quarter of the 57-42 win versus Geronimo at Chattanooga Friday, the referee made her take a seat to bandage her knee. That was the only time that Allensworth spent on the bench in the first-round playoff victory, and she more than made up for it in the third quarter.
Allensworth finished with 25 points, 14 of which came in a crucial third that put the Bulldogs (10-9) well ahead.
“I love it when senior leadership steps up like that,” coach Jason Allensworth said. “We always tell them when we leave halftime, ‘Big third quarter. Don’t come out flat. Make a big statement.’ She did that.”
After coming out flat in their last game, a 56-46 loss to Wilson, the Bulldogs made sure that wasn’t going to happen. Sophomore point guard Sherre Dewey sunk a three pointer and then fed an assist to senior Jessica Carney. Empire led 5-0 and Geronimo (6-14) took a timeout.
“That lets me know how we’re going to play night in and night out, is how we come out that first two three minutes of the ballgame,” coach Allensworth said. “We came out on a mission.”
That mission took a hit when Dewey went down with an injury midway through the first. She had to come out and would not return. With the team’s best ballhandler out, senior Melaina Yearby took over the point guard role.
Instead of fulfilling her usual role as a prolific scorer, Yearby had to concentrate on running the offense. With Geronimo mounting a comeback in fourth quarter, Yearby’s leadership became even more vital.
“Once we stay focused, stay calm, we can control the ball better,” Yearby said.
With the win, the Lady Bulldogs punched their ticket to the regional regardless of what happened Saturday versus No. 11 Chattanooga.
Empire lost that game 73-33, in large part due to a 21-1 third quarter. The Lady Bulldogs trailed by just eight at halftime.
“We came out playing well,” Allensworth said. “They came out in a totally different gear. I don’t know if we were fatigued from Friday night, but we just didn’t come out with the same energy.”
The Empire boys (3-16) didn’t the get the chance to play Saturday, after they lost to Geronimo 77-63 on Friday. The Bulldogs were down 22 at one point in the third quarter, but a resurgence from senior Tanner Ford forced the Geronimo faithful into nail-biting mode.
Coach Stefan Hunt’s team knocked on the door of a single-digit deficit for most of the fourth quarter, but couldn’t break through. He chalked it up to controlling the ball.
“You can’t have 22 turnovers and expect to beat anybody this late in the season,” Hunt said. “We can chalk some of that up to inexperience, but at some point in time, you have to be mature enough to slow down, do what’s right and not let your emotions get the best of you.”
Ten of those turnovers came in a first quarter to forget for Hunt. Down 18-9 after one and 43-27 at the half, it looked like Geronimo was going to cruise to victory.
The Bulldogs fired back. Ford hit his stride scoring all of his 19 points in the second half, which his team won 36-32. It was just too much of a hole to climb out of. Hunt said the players needed to play calmer when the game first started.
“Tonight we were so amped, so excited that it showed with wanting to go 130 miles per hour,” Hunt said. “You don’t have to go 130. You have to go about 60, because in game time situation, your adrenaline will increase your athleticism.”
Still, Hunt was happy with how the team improved this year. His only hang up was that the seniors couldn’t get farther in the state playoffs bracket.
Empire senior Kaelyn Allensworth didn’t have time to bleed.
Demon baseball to face best in Class 5A
The Duncan baseball team will see the best Class 5A has to offer at the McAlester Shootout Thursday through Saturday.
Demon coach Tim Hightower described the event as a “pre-state tournament” because many of the teams attending are state tournament contenders.
Soccer teams finish season at home
The Duncan soccer teams won’t go to the postseason, but they have plenty to play for Friday night against Western Heights.
It’s the last home games for the Demons and it’s Senior Night. The girls will look to finish near .500 for the season, while the boys want a good showing against a tough opponent.
Chamber Golf Classic proves to be popular event
When word got out that entries would be accepted for the Duncan Chamber Golf Classic, set for Friday at the Duncan Golf and Tennis Club, it didn’t take long for people to respond.
As club general manager Mike Hansen put it: “They sent out an e-mail and filled it up in a day.”
Thunder look to bounce back
During the hey day of L.A. Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, a new term was added to the lexicon. Anyone who seemingly was able to slow down the prolific scorer was automatically dubbed the Kobe Stopper.
Players such as Ruben Patterson, Raja Bell, Shane Battier, Ron Artest and Bruce Bowen all had the tag attached to their name, despite Bryant putting up big numbers against them.
Demons hoping for top-four finish
The Duncan baseball team will need to take care of business next week in its final District 2-5A games.
The Demons are 7-5 in district (16-9 overall) after dropping both games of a doubleheader at Carl Albert Monday, 8-1 and 4-1. The Titans (13-1, 26-4) won the district title.
Girls soccer gets it done at Altus
The Duncan girls soccer team battled in a tough environment at Altus to win 1-0 Tuesday.
Lady Demon coach Delydia Gay said it was frustrating at times for the girls because of some questionable calls the officials made. But she was happy the girls pulled together to win.
Meshell shines as Outlaws beat Warriors
The Marlow baseball team got help from Beau Meshell on the mound and at the plate in a 7-4 home victory against Anadarko Tuesday.
Meshell held Anadarko to one earned run off three hits and did not walk a batter. He reached base three times, had one run batted in and scored one run.
Girls golfers take fourth at Deer Creek
The Duncan girls golfers took fourth at a tournament hosted by Deer Creek High School at Coffee Creek Golf Course in Edmond Tuesday.
Lady Demon coach Steve Etheridge said that the girls played as well as they have all year. Although the golfers struggled putting on some fast greens, Etheridge was happy with their overall performance.
Empire softball tries to spark offense
The Lady Bulldogs are trying to find a way to spice up their offense in preparation for the Class 3A slowpitch softball playoffs.
Empire has played a tough schedule, with four of the first seven games coming against ranked opponents. However, coach Tony Roberts thinks the team just needs to have some more timely hitting to get on the winning track.
Outlaws shut out Indians
Marlow baseball snapped a three-game losing streak with a 10-0 win at home against Comanche Monday.
“We needed to get this win and we got it,” said Marlow coach Jeff Brewer.
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