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Girls basketball update: Notepad, rankings and player of the week, Union's Kaylen Nelson

Girls basketball update: Notepad, rankings and player of the week, Union's Kaylen Nelson

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Booker T. Washington’s Victoria Nunez had her first career double-double (11 assists and 10 points) in a win over Broken Arrow.

Player of the week

Kaylen Nelson • Union • 5-9 • Sr.

Old Dominion signee helped lead her team to the championship of the rugged Putnam City Invitational and was tournament MVP. Had 59 points and 33 rebounds in four games during the week. Scored 13 and made the go-ahead foul shots with 20 seconds left in a 47-45 win over Bixby in the PCI final. Scored 21 vs. then-4A No. 1 Classen SAS in the semifinals and had 10 points and 17 rebounds in a first-round win over Putnam City.

Players to watch

Temira Poindexter, Sapulpa: The previous player of the week made a season-best six 3-pointers and scored 30 points vs. Tahlequah in the Skiatook Invitational final and was named tournament MVP. Senior forward scored 83 points in four games and averages 22.7 while shooting 45.2 percent (28-for-62) from 3-point range.

Stailee Heard, Sapulpa: Super sophomore guard had 23 points and 14 rebounds against Tahlequah. Also had a career-best eight assists to go with 18 points in a semifinal win over Bishop Kelley. Averages 17.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and five assists.

Kennady Roach, Vinita: Totaled 78 points and 35 rebounds in four games and was named Oologah Tournament MVP. Senior guard had 23 points and six rebounds in a 52-25 win over Cleveland in the championship game and a double-double (20 points, 10 rebounds) vs. Pryor in the semifinals.

Hailee Mitchell and Aunisty Smith, B.T. Washington: Recorded double-doubles in the Hornets’ 63-38 win over 4A No. 10 Harding Prep. Mitchell, a 5-foot-11 senior, had 15 points, 13 rebounds and five blocked shots. Smith, a 5-foor-9 junior, had 22 points and 10 rebounds.

Skye Been, Hilldale: Went 6-for-9 from 3-point range, helping lead Hornets’ 56-53 overtime upset of 5A No. 9 Coweta. Also had six rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Taleyah Jones, Broken Arrow: Scored 34 points in a 69-64 semifinal win over 5A No 2 Carl Albert, going 11-for-17 from the field (with two 3-pointers) and 10-for-12 from the foul line. For the season, shooting 50 percent from 3-point range (18-for-36).

NEWS AND NOTES

Eastern movement

Union and Bixby helped shuffle the Class 6A rankings by running through the rugged Putnam City Invitational and meeting one another in the final.

“It was good to see two eastside team,” Union coach Joe Redmond said. “Bixby’s always solid and (Spartans coach Tina Thomas) is a good friend. If you see a (Frontier Conference) foe in the same tournament, the only place you want to meet them is in a championship scenario.”

Union took care of No. 14 Putnam West and 4A No. 1 OKC Classen in the first two rounds and Bixby handled No. 9 Putnam North and then-No. 2 Moore. The latter was a signature win for the Spartans because the Lions are led by one of the nation’s premier athletes.

Aaliyah Moore, a 6-foot-1 University of Texas signee, is rated sixth nationally in the 2021 recruiting class by ESPN. Kate Bradley, Gracy Wernli and Gentry Baldwin scored 18, 17 and 14, respectively, to lead the Spartans.

Against Classen, Union avenged a semifinal loss in last year’s Jenks/Union Invitational. In a novel move, Redmond used 6-foot junior Takyla Pitts to neutralize the Comets’ sensationally quick 5-foot-5 point guard, Jordan Harrison.

“I’m pretty sure (Harrison) hasn’t been guarded by anyone that long and athletic for a while,” Redmond said.

In the final, Kaylen Nelson made the go-ahead foul shots with 20 seconds left and Union survived a shot in the closing seconds by Bixby’s Meredith Mayes, who scored 20. Redmond said Jordynn Connor may have gotten a finger on the ball to affect its flight.

Thomas said the strong performance proved the Spartans “can play with anyone. It means we’re in the top tier and we’re in contention (for a state title).”

Pirates strike back

Preston was struggling under first-year coach Rylie Torrey-Littlejohn before ripping off three straight wins to capture the Morrison Tournament crown.

A brutal schedule was part of the problem. Preston (4-6) opened with losses to Class A No. 8 Okarche, 2A’s No. 1 Dale and No. 14 Oklahoma Union and 3A No. 5 Kellyville before knocking off 3A No. 14 Morris 48-44 on Dec. 4.

They took care of Class A No. 14 Frontier in the Morrison semifinals and defeated the host school in Saturday’s championship game.

Jadyn Roberts led the team in scoring during the tournament and the Pirates received strong performances from freshman point guard KaTory Batiste and senior Maycie Jones, who “worked her tail off and got a ton of rebounds,” Torrey-Littejohn said.

More help on the way for Tahlequah

Tatum Havens likely won’t be 5A No. 3 Tahlequah’s only productive newcomer in 2021. Smalls Goudeau, a Sequoyah Tahlequah sophomore standout last season, enrolled at the semester break and is expected to be eligible for the Tigers’ Jan. 19 game with Glenpool.

Smalls averaged 11 points and four rebounds last season, helping lead Sequoyah to a 26-1 mark, 3A No. 1 ranking and a berth in the state tournament eventually canceled due to the coronavirus. She became eligible to move when Sequoyah’s basketball season was canceled.

Briefly

Grove’s Rory Geer scored a career-high 34 points vs. Skiatook and now totals 1,425 points over four seasons.  … Micah Clayton had 18 points and 11 rebounds in a 48-35 win over Collinsville in the final of the Bulldogs’ tournament and was MVP.  … Jade Upshaw and Kailyn Bearpaw scored 23 and 18, respectively, in Kellyville’s 64-47 win over Kiefer in the Ripley Tournament final. … B.T. Washington senior guard Victoria Nuñez had her first career double-double (11 assists, 10 points) in a 70-46 win over Broken Arrow. … Coweta’s Alexxia Mercer went 3-for-4 from 3-point range and scored 18 in a loss to Tahlequah.

All-Tournament Teams

Skiatook: Stailee Heard, Alexis Lewis and Temira Poindexter (MVP), Sapulpa; Tatum Havens, Tahlequah; Jada Hytche, Muskogee; and Angel Scott, Edmond Deer Creek.

Oologah: Morgan Chaney and Kennady Roach (MVP), Vinita; Bailey Layman and Madalyn McNac, Cleveland; Rhett Looney, Pryor; Alexis Martin, Oologah.

Lincoln Christian: Kiara Brown, Jenks; Ellie Brueggemann and Micah Clayton (MVP), Lincoln Christian; Modesti McConnell, OKC Casady; Brie Smith, Collinsville.

GIRLS RANKINGS

OSSAArankings.com coaches’ poll, first-place votes in parentheses, record as of Jan. 10, followed by voting points.

Class 6A

1. Norman (26) 6-0, 596. 2. Union (6) 9-0, 566. 3. Edmond North 9-1, 524. 4. Choctaw 7-0, 500. 5. Moore 6-2, 494. 6. Mustang 7-2, 478. 7. Bixby 8-4, 442. 8. Norman North 6-2, 369. 9. Putnam North 6-2, 368. 10. Midwest City 5-3, 344. 11. Edmond Memorial 6-3, 319. 12. B.T. Washington 3-3, 295. 13. Sand Springs 4-3, 273. 14. Putnam West 5-5, 238. 15. Edmond Deer Creek 4-3, 187.

Class 5A

1. Sapulpa (23) 8-1, 498. 2. Carl Albert (3) 9-1, 464. 3. Tahlequah (1) 7-2, 451. 4. Piedmont 5-4, 398. 5. Lawton Mac 6-4, 388. 6. Ardmore 7-3, 387. 7. El Reno 4-2, 342. 8. OKC Bishop McGuinness 7-1, 339. 9. Coweta 3-5, 279. 10, (tie) Shawnee 5-5, and Will Rogers 6-4, 253. 12, Guthrie 5-4, 237. 13. Pryor 5-3, 236. 14. Lawton Ike 3-6, 199. 15. Altus 6-6, 144.

Class 4A

1. Classen SAS (42) 5-1, 1026. 2. Anadarko (5) 7-2, 939. 3. Weatherford (4) 10-2, 909. 4. Tuttle (2) 8-1, 905. 5. Fort Gibson (2) 7-1, 893. 6. Verdigris 4-1, 728. 7. Holland Hall 8-0, 692. 8 Kingfisher (1) 9-1, 687. 9. Grove 4-1, 582. 10. Harding Carter 7-2, 553. 11. Plainview 8-1, 448. 12. Locust Grove 7-2, 424. 13, Blanchard 7-2, 351. 14. Bridge Creek 8-1, 343. 15, Ada 8-5, 318.

Class 3A

1. Roland (27) 7-0, 818. 2. Jones (15) 2-1, 750. 3. Lincoln Christian (1) 10-1, 733. 4. Adair (1). 3-1, 673. 5. Kellyville (1) 7-1, 620. 6. Alva (1) 6-1, 613. 7. Perry 9-2, 560. 8. OKC Millwood (1) 3-2, 538. 9. Keys (Parkhill) 6-0, 462. 10. Kingston 4-2, 458. 11. Hugo (1) 8-4, 364. 12. Valliant 8-1, 354. 13. Kiefer 4-2, 330. 14. Morris 5-2, 294. 15. Kansas 2-1, 260.

Class 2A

1. Dale (35) 7-1, 961. 2. Silo (12) 9-1, 915. 3. Howe (1) 8-1, 864. 4. Amber-Pocasset (2), 9-2, 814. 5. Latta (1) 5-2, 808. 6. Pocola 7-1, 726. 7. Hartshorne 4-1, 701. 8. Hooker (2) 10-0, 699. 9. Luther 5-2, 447. 10. Stratford 7-1, 402. 11. Central (Sallisaw) 3-2, 401. 12. Cashion 7-3, 380. 13. Warner 5-1, 5-1, 361. 14. Oklahoma Union 6-4, 331. 15. Mounds 9-1, 308.

Class A

1. Vanoss (42) 12-0, 876. 2. Hydro-Eakley (8) 11-3, 820. 3. Seiling, 10-0, 737. 4. Cheyenne/Reydon 6-0, 699. 5. Crowder 10-0, 674. 6. Garber 8-2, 651. 7. Caddo 8-0, 619. 8. Okarche 7-2, 505. 9. Ninnekah 10-1, 504. 10. Ripley 12-2, 493. 11. Velma-Alma 7-2, 377. 12. Strother 5-1, 374. 13. Vici, 7-4, 354. 14. Frontier 6-3, 238. 15. Calumet 7-4, 231.

Class B

1. Lomega (49) 9-0, 997. 2. Leedey (6) 11-0, 925. 3. Varnum (1) 9-2, 849. 4. Lookeba-Sickles 9-1, 767. 5. Kowa 5-1, 716. 6. Hammon 8-3, 693. 7. Duke 10-0, 664. 8. Pittsburg 6-1, 816. 9. Cyril 8-2, 578. 10. Webbers Falls 7-1, 479. 11. McCurtain 10-3, 454. 12. Whitesboro 7-3, 401. 13. Roff 7-1, 387. 14. Forgan 9-2, 375. 15. Boise City 7-1. 312.

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