PARK HILL -- Keys upended Class 2A No. 13 Central Sallisaw, 51-43, Tuesday evening at Keys High School behind 20 points from Kylie Eubanks.
The Lady Cougars improve to 9-4 under head coach Jami Springwater, while Central Sallisaw falls to 6-3.
Eubanks scored the first seven points of the game, which included a layup just seconds after tip off, a steal and score, and a 3-pointer. The Lady Tigers outscored the Lady Cougars after the seven-point run but trailed 14-11 going into the second quarter.
The Lady Cougars built an eight-point, 22-14 lead halfway through the second quarter. However, the Lady Tigers went on a 12-2 run to take claim the lead for the first time of the game. They were earning second-chance scoring opportunities throughout the quarter and finished the half with a 31-27 lead.
Trinity Ward sunk a 3-pointer to start the second half, but the Lady Cougars' offensive struggles continued throughout the third quarter. They played quality defense, but the Lady Tigers held on to their four-point lead, leading 37-33 to finish the quarter.
Eubanks gave the Lady Cougars a 40-39 with 4:50 left on the clock. The lead changed possession three more times before Berry found Eubanks open for a 3-pointer, giving the Cougars a 45-43 lead with 3:15 remaining.
With just under three minutes of game time left, the Lady Cougars tried to run out the clock until they could find an open, quality shot. The Lady Tigers decided to foul the Kiley Stilwell, sending her to the free throw line and forcing the Cougars to turnover possession. However, Stilwell made four free throws in the final minute while the Lady Cougars played sound defense, preventing points and sealing the win.
"We knew they were a great shooting team and our girls did a great job managing the clock on the offensive end, making good passes and not turning the ball over," said Springwater. "That's something we have struggled with is turnovers. That's probably the best I've seen this group manage a clock with that many minutes in the fourth quarter and pull away with only two points."
Eubanks led Keys in scoring with 20 points and added four steals. Berry had 12 points, three assists, two steals, and three rebounds. Ward finished the night with six points.
Keys will travel to Vian Friday night to face the 5-3 Lady Wolverines for a 6:30 p.m. tip off.
Cougars 45, Tigers 44
Keys won back-to-back games for the first time this season after hosting 3-6 Central Sallisaw in Park Hill Tuesday night. Keys improved to 7-6 despite missing starters Gage Barnes and Bryce Sanders due to illness.
The Cougars came back in the fourth quarter to win 45-44 after giving up a sizeable lead in the first half.
Logan Yanez stepped up as the primary ball-handler with the losses to Gage Barnes and Sanders and scored four points in the first quarter. The Cougars controlled the pace to begin the game and finished with a 16-4 lead to end the quarter.
"I thought Logan Yanez played really well," said head coach Greg Barnes. "He's been really steady, but tonight with Gage out he had to handle the ball a lot more."
The offense continued to roll in the second quarter. Yanez and Scotty Wolff combined to score 10 of the team's 15 points, extending the team's lead to 31-17 before reaching the half.
The third quarter has been a problem for the Cougars all season which provided a chance for the Tigers to make a run. The Tigers scored seven unanswered points to start the second half and closed the Cougars' lead to only 39-34 at the end of the quarter.
The Cougars never gave up the lead, but it was a close game until the final possession. The Tigers trailed 43-41 with four minutes left in regulation. The Cougars played quality defense but turned the ball over too often to pull away.
"Logan showed some leadership tonight," said Greg Barnes. "He knew we were struggling on offense and every time there was a break or a timeout, he kept telling the guys 'just play hard on defense,' 'pick it up on defense,' and I thought that was a good sign for him."
Yanez was sent to the foul line and sunk a pair of free throws to give the team a four-point lead. The Cougars would not allow the Tigers to have two possessions to claim the lead, but they made a 3-pointer as time expired.
Yanez finished the night with the team-high 13 points. Wolff scored 12 points.
Keys will play the 6-2 Vian Wolverines Friday night following the Lady Cougars' game.