Zya Vann sprinted down the floor with one Kingfisher defender between her and Keziah Lofton.
The Bethany guard was most likely the quicker of the trio but she wasn’t going to force it. Vann had already stolen the ball and scored on a fastbreak layup on an earlier possession. So, this time Vann jumped and flung the ball to Lofton, who laid it up for an easy score and another Vann assist.
Vann was getting assists; she was getting steals and she was making her shots from deep.
With Vann’s big performance, Bethany bested Kingfisher 55-39 on Wednesday night to win in its Class 4A girls basketball state tournament debut. Vann led all scorers with 22 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Bethany (26-1) had a 13-point lead going into halftime but Kingfisher (23-5) wasn’t going to go away easily. The Yellowjackets began to knock down multiple shots and draw fouls. Raegan Snider led the charge by not only finishing the game as Kingfisher’s leading scorer with 14 points but also by making what could be considered the shot of the tournament. With time running off the clock, Snider fired a half-court shot that fell through the hoop as the buzzer sounded at the end of the third quarter.
Tuttle 69, Harding Charter Prep 47
Even for state tournament veterans, nerves can be an issue.
For the Tuttle girls’ basketball team, a quick start in its Class 4A state quarterfinal quickly quelled any hint of jitters.
“We definitely knew that we wanted to have a fast start,” first-year Tuttle coach Jamie Combs said after the second-ranked Tigers overwhelmed No. 8 Harding Charter Prep, 69-47, Wednesday at State Fair Arena.
Tuttle (26-2) opened the game with 13 of the game’s first 15 points, highlighted by 10 from 6-foot-3 senior post player Landry Allen, who utilized her threeinch height advantage over any player on the Harding roster to create a mismatch around the basket.
With her future college coach — Oklahoma’s Jennie Baranczyk — watching from a courtside table, Allen was fantastic. She led all players with 26 points and 16 rebounds for the Tigers, which advance to the 4A state semifinals for the third year in a row.
“It is just determination,” said Allen, who was a sophomore on Tuttle’s 2021 state-title team. “Not even for me being my last year, it is for these other girls. We play off each other. ... Without them, we would not work together as a team as much as we do.”
While Allen garners significant attention from the opposition, Tuttle is at its best when its inside-outside game is at peak performance as it was Wednesday. Junior Allie Rehl poured in 21 points, while junior Samantha Teague added 14 with 11 rebounds.
Senior Azijah Reeves scored 15 points for Harding Charter Prep, which ends its season at 25-5.
Tuttle will play No. 3 Bethany (27-1) in a 4A state semifinal Friday at noon at Yukon High School. The Tigers handed Bethany its only loss of the season, 4532, on Jan. 10.
Verdigris 43, Fort Gibson 39
The play was drawn up for Kate Wiginton.
Sure, the season was on the line and the Verdigris sophomore was scoreless for the first 31-plus minutes. But no matter. Wiginton had been in this spot before.
“I have done it a few times in short time periods to end-of-game shots,” Wiginton said after her three-point basket with 41 seconds left gave the sixthranked Cardinals their first lead in a 4339 come-from-behind victory over No. 15 Fort Gibson in a Class 4A girls’ basketball state quarterfinal Wednesday night at Jim Norick Arena. “I’ve hit one, so I knew I could. And my shot felt really good, even though I had not been shooting a lot.”
After a Fort Gibson turnover gave Verdigris the ball back with 52 seconds left and the Cardinals down by one point at 39-38, the ensuing sequence called for Verdigris senior standout guard Morgan Borgstadt to draw two Fort Gibson defenders into the middle of the court as Wiginton sprinted to the left corner.
Wiginton’s heroics capped a robust rally for Verdigris (22-6). The Cardinals trailed by as many as 11 points at 34-23 late in the third quarter, but closed the contest with a spectacular 20-5 explosion.
Borgstadt scored six of her gamehigh 21 points during the Verdigris rally and none more dazzling than her steal, drive and left-handed layup that briefly tied the game at 34-34 with 4:40 to go.
Laynee Stanley was tremendous for Fort Gibson (22-6). The sophomore post player led the Tigers with 15 points and nearly fended off the Verdigris charge with a five-point flurry that reclaimed the lead for Fort Gibson at 39-34 with 3:34 left.
Verdigris will play No. 1 Lincoln Christian (26-1) Friday at 2 p.m. at Yukon High School.
Tulsa Lincoln Christian 62, Classen SAS 33
Lincoln Christian routed Classen SAS 62-33 in the state quarterfinal on Wednesday night at State Fair Arena. Maddi Stewart led the way with 18 points followed by Hopkins with 16 and Kayli Atkinson with 14.
Classen SAS (20-10) entered the state tournament after Amyah Sutton scored 23 points and Skylar Durley hit a gamewinning layup over Weatherford on Saturday. After just graduating a trio of Baylor’s Darianna Littlepage-Buggs (Big 12), Stephen F. Austin’s Jordan Harrison (WAC) and Texas Southern’s Micah Gray (SWAC), who all were named as Freshman of the Year in their respective conferences this week, Classen reloaded quickly with the duo leading the way.
Lincoln Christian (26-1) advances to take on Verdigris in the state semifinals.