Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

December 5, 2012

Keys clubs win 1st round games

PARK HILL — Sydni Rainbolt and Mylee Hewitt led the Keys girls to a 52-48 victory over the Fort Gibson junior varsity squad Tuesday night at Cougar Fieldhouse in the first round of the Cougar Invitational.

Rainbolt led the Cougars with 28 points and nine rebounds in 27 minutes. Hewitt filled the stat sheet with 17 points, nine rebounds and six assists in 30 minutes of work.

“We got a great performance from those two tonight,” Keys coach Mickey Duncan said. “Our team is better when Sydni touches the ball a lot. She had plenty of touches in the first half, and we got out to a big lead.”

Keys jumped out to a 15-point advantage in the first quarter and led 21-9 after one. A combined 10-point second quarter saw the home team take a 25-15 lead into intermission. Keys stretched its lead to 39-27 at the end of the third quarter, and it looked like all was good for the Lady Cougars.

Seemingly out of nowhere, however, the Lady Tigers scored eight points in the first 1:22 of the fourth quarter, and the visitors found themselves down just 39-35.

“We went away from what we were doing in the first half,” said Duncan, whose team advances to take on Poteau in the tournament semifinals on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. “We lost a little bit of our defensive intensity, but sometimes you just have to learn the hard way. I’m happy we were able to stay composed and find a way to win.”

Keys stretched the lead back out to eight, but Fort Gipson went on a 6-0 run to make the score 43-41 with just 2:55 to play. The Lady Cougars nearly let the game slip away, but a triple from Hewitt at 2:39 and a Rainbolt jumper at 1:48 (with an assist from Hewitt) gave the home team just enough of a cushion to hold on for the four-point triumph.

“Our defense is still a work in progress, and we realize that,” Duncan said. “When (Sydni and Mylee) weren’t touching the ball, we weren’t making shots. We have to be tougher than that.”

Emilee Rigsby paced the Lady Tigers with 20 points, five boards and three assists. Aaliyah Lee pulled down 11 rebounds and scored seven points. Fort Gibson JV falls to the consolation bracket and will take on Oklahoma City Centennial on Friday at 7:20 p.m.

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