Hayley KnifeChief and Audra Skimbo combined for 44 points, and Claremore hit 10 of 11 free throws in the fourth quarter as the Lady Zebras squeaked past Tulsa Edison, 57-54, Tuesday night at in a Metro Lakes Conference high school basketball game at Frank Mobra Field House.
In the boys game, the Edison Eagles found the Zebras on a cold shooting night and posted a 67-31 victory.
The Lady Zebras clung to a 39-37 lead after three quarters and took their largest lead when Logan Froese connected from up close to give CHS (6-2) a 46-42 advantage with 5:40 left.
The Lady Eagles (4-3) tied it four times in the last five minutes, the last time at 1:15 when Jasmine Manuel banked an eight-footer to knot the score at 54.
Edison had three chances to win with less than 15 seconds left. After KnifeChief hit a free throw for a 55-54 lead with 15 seconds left, the Eagles lost the ball when Froese knocked the ball away to her sister Lauren. Edison fouled, and KnifeChief hit a pair of foul shots for a 57-54 lead.
The Eagles then threw the inbounds pass into the ceiling and the Lady Zebras got the ball back. But they turned it right over, and the Eagles called time with 2.3 seconds left to set up for a final shot that never materialized.
KnifeChief led Claremore with 23 points. Skimbo had 21 and Logan Froese 10 points.
Edison was led by Manuel with 22 points.
"We played hard, but we definitely made some bad decisions that hurt us," Lady Zebras coach Mark Campbell said. “Making those free throws (15-of-18) was a marked improvement. Coach (Kandy) Damron is staying with them after practice every day and obviously that practice has helped. We needed every one of those free throws. I'd like to see us cut down on our turnovers, then the free throws would not have been that important."
Mark Rutledge scored 12 of his 16 points in the first quarter and the Eagles, coached by former Zebra standout Michael Parrish, pulled away early and never looked back.
The Zebras were never able to get on track offensively, committing a season-high 25 turnovers and shooting a season-low 31 percent (13-of-41).
Defensively, the Zebras did not fare badly. But the steady stream of turnovers led to a large number of fastbreak opportunities that allowed Edison to maintain a double-digit lead the entire game.
Will Creekmore, Edison's 6-foot-9 senior center, scored 15 points.
The Zebras were led by junior Jaren Riley with nine points. Senior Chris Bottoms added five, including two on a first-quarter breakaway slam to tie the game at 2. The Eagles then outscored CHS, 14-2, over the next six minutes and the Zebras never recovered.
Claremore 57, Edison 54
Edison 15 11 11 17 — 54
Claremore 14 14 11 18 — 57
Edison — Manuel 22, Walton 14, Fowler 5, B.Johnson 5, Finch 2, Arrington 2,
J.Johnson 2, Leek 2.
Claremore — KnifeChief 23, Skimbo 21, Logan Froese 10, Johnson 3.
Edison 67, Claremore 31
Edison 16 20 13 18 — 67
Claremore 4 6 11 10 — 31
Edison — Rutledge 16, Creekmore 15, Ingram 11, Thomas 8, Aduddell 5, Todd 5,
Yingst 4, Bush 2, Williams 1.
Claremore — Riley 9, Bottoms 5, Wilson 4, James 4, Boyles 3, Rounds 2, Estes
2, Hines 2.