Keys 45, Poteau 43 (girls)
The usual suspects were on display for the Keys girls as the Lady Cougars earned a 45-43 win over Poteau in the semifinals of the Cougar Invitational Thursday night at Cougar Fieldhouse.
Sydni Rainbolt put together another double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Mylee Hewitt led all scorers with 19 points despite battling foul trouble.
Hewitt started the game slow, scoring just seven points on 2-of-6 shooting in the first half, but Rainbolt picked up her teammate with nine points and seven boards in the opening 16 minutes.
Hewitt came up big when it mattered though, as a 12-point second half and a plethora of clutch plays late was enough to give her team the win.
“Mylee had a hard time understanding what we were trying to do in the first half,” Keys coach Mickey Duncan said. “She picked up two quick fouls and we really had to manage her minutes for the majority of the game. I knew she had to be on the floor for us late, so I had to keep taking her out on defense and I think that frustrated her.”
Keys found itself leading 19-11 after the first quarter, but a 12-5 second quarter went in favor of the visitors as the Lady Cougars took a narrow 24-23 edge into halftime.
The home team maintained the one-point advantage heading into the fourth, but a quick 5-0 run to start the final frame gave Poteau a 37-33 edge with 6:19 to play. Rachel Lawrence cut the lead in half at 6:10, and Hewitt tied the game with a layup at 5:12.
Consecutive buckets from Kaitlan Standridge and Montana Roll gave the visitors another four-point lead with 3:48 to play, but back-to-back layups from Hewitt yet again tied the contest at 41-41 at the 1:23 mark.
Hewitt grabbed a huge rebound on Poteau’s next possession, and she nailed the game-winning three-point basket from the corner with just 26 seconds to play.
“This is the fourth time we’ve been in this situation where it comes down to just managing one possession,” Duncan said. “Mylee did a good job finishing the ball game when we needed her most. It’s nice to have a senior step up and be a leader.”
Roll led Poteau with 12 points, and Colleen Peterson added eight points and 13 rebounds for the visitors.