WILBURTON – The heavy-hearted faithful from Rebel Country walked an emotional tightrope this week, as the girls basketball team moved closer to the state tournament with a Thursday victory.
The 38-37 Silo win over Talihina was overshadowed by the death of a Silo High School student earlier this week. Services for Victoria Wallace will be held Saturday.
Coach Dax Simon and the Lady Rebels wore purple ribbons in memory of Wallace during Thursday’s Class 2A Area semifinal game. Simon told his players to try and put their emotions aside and use the game - and this difficult week - as character-building life lessons.
The girls fell behind early, as Talihina ran up a 17-9 first quarter lead. Silo outscored the Golden Tigers 8-4 in the second and trailed only 21-17 at the half. Kenslie Stanley scored 15 of her game-high 23 in the first half.
Stanley helped the Lady Rebels overcome a vicious full-court press from Talihina and the game was tied 27-27 going into the fourth quarter.
Mary Grider stepped up and hit three big shots, each one fending off a Talihina attack. Her final three came with 11 seconds and proved to be the game winner.
“It feels like déjà vu because of the Caddo game,” Grider said, referring to her threes which helped Silo down the Lady Bruins in the district playoffs. “I’ve been shooting bad all week, but I guess it only matters during the game.”
“She’s a hard worker and wants to win as bad as any kid we have,” said Simon. “But Kneslie carried us in the first half. We switched to a zone (defense) and we were able to shut them down. And Rachel (Grider) gave a gritty performance on a bad knee.”
In a game where every point and play mattered, Kara Felton and Jacque Hendricks scored two points each, while Hannah Bourne also scored two and had a major blocked shot and timely rebounding in the decisive fourth.
Silo faces Preston at 1:30 p.m. today in Wilburton. A win for the Lady Rebels will set up a 6:30 p.m. Saturday game (against Colbert or Oktaha) for a chance to move on to the state tournament. A loss Friday or Saturday will end Silo’s season.
Class A State Quarterfinal Scores (Boys)
Weleetka 66 Laverne 46
Fort Cobb-Broxton 61 Velma-Alma 58
Glencoe 73 Cheyenne/Reydon 56
Sterling 63 Wright City 61
Class A State Quarterfinal Scores (Girls)
Turner 59 Frontier 43
Okarche 57 Sterling 47
Cheyenne/Reydon 51 PC Hunter 41
Kiowa 55 Fort Cobb-Broxton 47
Class B State Quarterfinal Scores (Boys)
Arnett 56 Burlington 32
Big Pasture 66 Moyers 64
Coyle 65 Forgan 57
Red Oak 56 Fargo 39
Class B State Quarterfinal Scores (Girls)
Hammon 34 Deer Creek-Lamont 30
Lomega 63 Leedey 62 (2OT)
Erick 41 Timberlake 40
Shattuck 55 Red Oak 51