CHOUTEAU — For a quarter, Preston’s girls played like a team that hadn’t been on the floor for 13 days and whose community hadn’t had water for six.
But the Pirates finally got their 2-1-2 matchup zone working Monday and pulled away from Chouteau 42-31 in a Class 2A district championship game in the Wildcats’ gym.
Preston trailed 7-0 before Maycie Jones’ basket with 1:02 left in the first quarter, but then the Pirates outscored the Wildcats 18-4 and led by as many as nine points before halftime.
Chouteau clawed back within two in the third quarter, but then Adrianne Wilson, Jadyn Roberts and Shaunassi Jordan combined in an 8-0 run that put the Pirates in command.
The long-armed Wilson batted a pass out of the air and leaped to control it, then passed to Roberts for the second of her 3-pointers and the Pirates led 24-18.
Jordan ended the third quarter with a layup and started the fourth by passing from the baseline to Maycie Jones barreling down the middle for a layup and Preston had its first double-digit lead.
“We create a lot of offense by forcing turnovers and when we aren’t doing that, we (have trouble scoring),” first-year Preston coach Rylie Torrey-Littlejohn said.
“But we have a young team and they’re buying into the defense. I like our progress and I we think we can make a little run here in the playoffs,” said Torrey-Littlejohn, who was making a competitive return to Mayes County after leading Locust Grove to a Class 4A state title in 2015.
Jones scored 13, Roberts added 11 and Wilson had nine points and three assists to go with her key defensive play in the third quarter.
Preston (11-9) won for the 10th time in 13 games, broke Chouteau’s string of district titles at four and advanced to play in the regional semifinals at 6 p.m. Thursday at McLain High School.
Talyiah Schencks scored 11 to pace the Wildcats (9-6), Chesney Inglett had eight points and Danielle Sawyer added six. High-scoring senior Loribeth Miller, double-teamed whenever she touched the ball, was just 2-for-13 from the field and scored five points, but had a game-high 15 rebounds.
Originally scheduled for last Friday, the game was moved to Chouteau because Preston and surrounding Okmulgee County communities have been without water since last Wednesday because of water line breakage in the extreme winter weather.
Neither team had played since Feb. 9 because of a combination of the weather and cancellations due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Preston likely will play No. 1 Dale in the regional semifinals. Dale plays Haskell in a district final in Okmulgee at 6 p.m. Thursday and Chouteau would face the loser at 1 p.m. Thursday at McLain.
Dale was set to host the district and regional, but both were moved because of water damage on the Pirates’ court.
CHOUTEAU 53, PRESTON 47 (boys): Jalen Miller scored 14 and Daniel Chupp and Brett Gwartney had 12 each and the Wildcats overcome a 23-point outing by Preston freshman Jervais Goree, who made six 3-pointers.
Chouteau (8-5) made five second-quarter treys to open a 27-19 halftime lead and held on over the final two quarters. Preston inched to within 47-46 with 5:20 left on back-to-back treys by Goree and were within 49-47 on a foul shot by Goree with 2:31 left, but did not score again.
Hayden Stutzman’s layup made it 51-47 with 1:01 left and free throws by Chupp and Andrew Hill put the game out of reach.
PRESTON 42, CHOUTEAU 31 (GIRLS)
Preston 4 16 6 16 — 42
Chouteau 7 8 3 13 — 31
Preston (11-9): Maycie Jones 13, Jadyn Roberts 11, Adrienne Wilson 9, KaTory Baptiste 3, Ashlynn Foster 2, Shaunassi Jordan 2, Mya Tiger 2.
Chouteau (9-6): Talyiah Schencks 11, Chesney Inglett 8, Danielle Sawyer 6, Loribeth Miller 5, Lexi Wheeler 1.
CHOUTEAU 53, PRESTON 47 (BOYS)
Preston 8 11 19 9 — 47
Chouteau 8 19 17 9 — 53
Preston (7-13): Jervais Goree 23, Markhi Johnson 8, Keyton Smith 7, Kaffrren Bagby 5, Malachi Ligons 4.
Chouteau (8-5): Jalen Miller 14, Daniel Chupp 12, Brett Gwartney 12, Hayden Stutzman 7, Andrew Hill 6, Cayden Craine 2.