The Bartlesville Lady Bruins caught Claremore off guard Saturday night and captured the Port City Classic high school basketball tournament championship at Catoosa. The unranked Class 6A squad upended the Class 5A Lady Zebras, 38-32.
Fresh from two previous victories in which they outscored the opponents 131-82, the Lady Zebras never led Bartlesville. Keyarrie Hudson, the Bruins' 6-3 senior center, saw to that. She finished with nine points, nine rebounds, and a blocked shot. It was her height and ability to shut out the Zebra driving lanes that stopped Claremore.
Audra Skimbo, the season's leading inside scorer, was able to capitalize on only one of eight layup attempts. In addition to trying to get around the huge Hudson, Skimbo always drew one or two more defenders.
Unable to go inside, Claremore didn't fair any better from outside. Missing all seven attempts from the field in the first quarter, the Zebras' only two points came at the free-throw line.
Except for a brief 2-2 score, Bartlesville outscored Claremore in each of the first three quarters. With 1:19 before half-time, two Rae Dean free throws put her team in front 28-16 for the widest margin.
It looked like Claremore was getting ready to take charge once the fourth period started. Monica Milone took a sharp pass from Hayley KnifeChief and scored a layup as Skimbo had the defense drawn to the opposite side. Skimbo followed with two free throws.
Kara Cook added two for Bartlesville before KnifeChief answered with a foul point and Lauren Froese with a two-pointer.
Claremore was down 30-26 with 3:55 to go.
Bartlesville wasn't ready to bow out. Cook, Chrystal DeLaporte and Dean combined for the game's next four points to open some breathing room.
Skimbo and KnifeChief, teaming for 102 points during the three-day tournament, led Claremore on one more run. Skimbo sank a free throw with 31 seconds left and KnifeChief hit a 15-footer 12 seconds later to pull Claremore within three.
DeLaporte finished the game with four free throws.
Courtney Gage, the tournament’s most valuable player, topped Bartlesville with 13 points. She recorded 11 on five straight field goals in the middle of the contest.
KnifeChief also had 13 points and was named to the all-tournament team. In three games she scored 60 points.
Playing Saturday morning in the boys’ seventh place game, Claremore pulled away from Catoosa for a 69-44 victory.
The Zebras had four players in double figures, one of their most balanced outings of the season.
While improving to 5-6, Claremore was led by Andrew Rounds' 17 points. Chris Bottoms had 15 with Brent Wilson getting 11 and Trevor Grubb 10.
Brad Chesney topped Catoosa with 10.
Ardmore defeated Catoosa, 50-34, for seventh place in the girls bracket.
BARTLESVILLE 38, CLAREMORE 32
Bartlesville 7 8 13 10 — 38
Claremore 2 7 10 13 — 32
Bartlesville — Gage 13, Hudson 9, Dean 7, DeLaporte 4, Cook 4, Morris 1, Ewert 0, Dennis 0, Smith 0.
Claremore — KnifeChief 13, Skimbo 8, Milone 4, Lauren Froese 4, Logan Froese 3, Johnson 0, Walker 0.
CLAREMORE 69, CATOOSA 44
Claremore 21 18 17 13 — 69
Catoosa 12 12 10 10 — 44
Claremore — Rounds 17, Bottoms 15, Wilson 11, Grubb 10, Hines 6, Riley 4, Sanders 2, Boyles 2, James 2.
Catoosa — Chesney 10, Wilsey 8, Godsey 8, Loomis 7, Smith 4, Willibey 3, T.Nienhuis 2, C.Nienhuis 2.
ARDMORE 50, CATOOSA 34
Ardmore 9 13 14 14 — 50
Catoosa 10 7 10 17 — 34
Ardmore — Brown 17, Herbert 7, Gordon 7, Dogg 6, Hedrick 5, Johnson 4, Stoelson 4.
Catoosa — Dill 7, Loomis 6, Hurt 6, Chesney 6, Robinson 4, Magnus 3, Johnson 2.