Choctaw High School’s Basketball season came to a close over the weekend when the Lady Yellowjackets suffered two narrow defeats.
A total of just six points gave Choctaw two losses in the 2019 Area Tournament.
Choctaw came up three points short of claiming the Area Championship, and then again came up just three points short of making state.
The Lady Yellowjackets looked like they had peaked just in time for the postseason when they upset Edmond Memorial in dominant fashion for the regional crown.
Choctaw claimed their sixth straight regional title and advanced to area for the eighth consecutive year.
Choctaw claimed the regional title and solidified a seven game win streak heading into the area final.
CHS looked like they were set for another run at the gold ball, but a pair of 3-point heartbreakers would send the Lady Jackets home early.
Friday Choctaw lost a 43-40 decision to Edmond Santa Fe in the Area Championship.
The Lady Jackets had one more shot, but Norman would win a 46-43 game Saturday at Western Heights to put an end to Choctaw’s season.
Just three points, in two consecutive games, managed to keep Choctaw out of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association Class 6A State Tournament.
Choctaw finished the year with an overall record of 20-7. They went 10-7 against top 20 teams, and 6-3 vs. Class 6A’s top 10 squads.
Choctaw takes sixth straight regional crown
No. 9 Choctaw shocked 7th-ranked Edmond Memorial girls on their own court Saturday to claim a sixth straight Class 6A Regional Championship.
The win came in dominant fashion as Choctaw thumped the regional hosting Bulldogs, 49-26.
Choctaw’s defense was dominant.
Before the regional final, Memorial had never scored less than 40 points a game and the Lady Yellowjackets held them to just 26.
However, it wasn’t all about defense as a well executed game plan allowed senior standout Aliyah Llanusa to pass the 1,000-point mark during the win.
Llanusa was unaware of her high school career’s 1,000-point mark as she led the Lady Jackets to the dominant win with 25 points.
“This was a big win, and really fun. I think we played really well defensively, which we practiced on all week. I think we’re going to have to play good, and fight to get to state,” said Llanusa. “We played pretty good today, but we have more in us. We’ll always have more in us.”
Trinity Gooden and Makayla White each scored seven, while Mackenzie Crusoe was perfect from the line and put up a total of six points.
KK Payne added two, and Jali Seagraves was perfect from the line with two
The win gave Choctaw their sixth straight regional title, and advanced the Lady Jackets to the area tournament for the eighth straight year.
“That’s huge to hold a team like that to 26. The seniors did great and pulled us through. I’m proud of the bench. We were down a player due to the flu so we had to play some girls that don’t have a lot of experience and they played well,” said head coach Ryan Maloney. “Everyone followed the game plan, got big rebounds, didn’t freak out when they started to make a little bit of a run and made free throws down the stretch. That’s how you beat good teams so I’m proud of them.”
The Lady Jackets now advance to the Class 6A Area Tournament, Thursday, Feb. 28.
Choctaw will face a No.14-ranked Edmond Santa Fe team that just claimed a regional crown with a 75-67 overtime win over No. 5 Edmond North.
The game is set for 6:30 p.m. at Edmond North.
A win advances Choctaw to the Class 6A State Tournament, while a loss would put CHS against the winner of Deer Creek vs. Norman at 1:30 p.m. Saturday for another chance to make state.