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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL | OWASSO AT SAND SPRINGS

Sand Springs, Owasso split basketball doubleheader

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Sand Springs’ Alijah Roper (right) defends Owasso’s EJ Lewis on Friday night.

SAND SPRINGS — Sakauri Wilson’s clutch plays helped Sand Springs edge Owasso 48-47 in a Frontier Valley Conference girls basketball game Friday night at Ed Dubie Field House.

Wilson’s free throw, after a grabbing a rebound off of her missed shot, with snapped a 47-47 tie with 14.3 seconds left. She missed the second free throw, but once again secured the rebound — her 10th on the night.

The junior earned her first career double-double with 13 points and helped propel No. 11 Sand Springs (10-4, 3-2) past No. 14 Owasso (6-5, 1-4).

All night long the 5-foot-5 point-guard came through in clutch moments due to her speed, ferocity, and fearlessness in matchups with players who easily outsized her.

“Our big needed help rebounding so it was my time to come in and help rebound, little or not,” said Wilson.

She also recorded three steals and five assists in a rematch of the Sandites’ 51-49 victory over Owasso in the Bishop Kelley Invitational finals.

“My mind was we can’t lose because if we lose, we’re not hosting (a regional),” said Wilson. “I really want to host and I want to make it to state. So that’s my goal. If I have to put my team on my back, then I’ll do it.”

Sandites coach Josh Berry said, “Once she understands how good she really is and how she can control the game, I think the sky’s the limit for her.”

Owasso stormed out to a 17-10 lead after the first quarter, but a trey from Kiaryn Taylor tied it up early in the second. The Sandites closed the half on a 9-1 run for a 28-27 lead.

Chrinasia Elbert put the Rams back on top to open the half and the Sandites didn’t regain the lead until Hailey Jackson hit a deep 2 to open the fourth.

The fourth quarter saw three ties and five lead changes but ultimately the Sandites held on for their 10th consecutive victory against the Rams. The Sandites are 4-0 in one-score games this season.

“I’ve been noticing we’ve got some resilience to us,” said Berry. “Early on, we didn’t fight like that when we got down. But now we’ve got a little resilience. I think they’re believing that we’ve got a chance to be a really good team.”

Jackson led all scorers with 21 points and is averaging 20.6 per outing this season. Makenna Yokley had 16 to lead Owasso.

Owasso 54, Sand Springs 45 (boys): Freshman star and coach’s son Jalen Montonati kept Owasso out front, with a game-best 23-point performance, including seven in the fourth quarter.

“It’s a blessing to be able to coach my son, but taking that away, he’s an extremely talented young man,” said Brian Montonati.

“When his shot gets going, it kind of changes the different coverages of our team. It was good to see him bounce back after being sick and not playing for about a month, to finally start hitting some shots and playing the way we always thought he could play.”

The Rams (4-6, 2-3) entered the night unranked after losing four of their last five, and they found it in the battle with No. 18 Sand Springs (6-5, 1-4).

“(Eric) Savage does a great job with his guys,” said Brian Montonati. “We knew it was going to be a tough battle, so we’re extremely happy to get away with a win. We needed one of these.”

Brandon Mann scored the first two buckets of the game en route to a 12-point performance and the Rams never trailed in the first half, though a pair of late treys from Kooper Kelly cut it as close as 22-20.

The Sandites opened the third on a 10-point run, however, and a free throw from Blake Johnson gave the home team the lead at 30-29 with 2:38 left in the quarter.

“I think we lost a little bit of focus,” said Brian Montonati. “Sometimes that will happen with a young team.”

“I thought as the game went on we got the shots that we needed to get, we were getting to the free-throw line, and we locked up on defense. We made a couple of different coverages on the pick-and-roll and it seemed to help us.”

Owasso rode a 13-point streak from the third into the fourth quarter, though Sand Springs once again got as close as 42-41 on a trey from Alijah Roper.

“I love the fight of this team,” said Brian Montonati. “I love the swagger of them.”

“We’ve been in some really big games against some really quality opponents and there hasn’t been any fear in their eyes. So as long as we stay together, share the ball, play defense, and stay coachable, I think we could end this thing on a good note.”

SAND SPRINGS 48, OWASSO 47 (girls)

Owasso 17 10 11 9 – 47

Sand Springs 10 18 10 10 — 48

Owasso: Yokley 16, Austin 11, Elbert 10, McGarrah 8, Wilson 2.

Sand Springs: Jackson 21, Wilson 13, Morris 5, Taylor 5, Fueshko 2, Martin 2.

OWASSO 54, SAND SPRINGS 45 (boys)

Owasso 15 12 10 17 — 54

Sand Springs 8 12 12 13 — 45

Owasso: Montonati 23, Mann 12, Williams 7, Lewis 5, McLemore 3, Harbaugh 2, Scott 2.

Sand Springs: Kelly 13, Roper 9, Allen 8, Foster 5, Johnson 5, Holland 3, Hooper 2.

Topics this week include OSSAA seeking a five-year state championship football host (should UCO in Edmond continue?) and moving Holland Hall basketball to Class 5A mid-season.

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