Class 5A or Class 6A, it apparently doesn't matter to Claremore coach Mark Campbell and his Lady Zebra basketball squad.
That was the case Saturday as No. 7-ranked Claremore upended No. 8 Tulsa Memorial, 45-34, at the Frank Mobra Fieldhouse for the school’s first 6A regional basketball tournament championship.
The 22-1 Claremore girls now need one win at this week's area tournament to earn a 6A state tournament berth.
As a 5A school, Claremore played in the state tournament 14 of the past 17 years.
The Lady Zebras will meet No. 1-ranked, defending state champion Sapulpa at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Catoosa.
Holding a dozen-point lead at halftime, Claremore suddenly discovered Memorial, entering the contest with a 19-4 record, wasn't ready to quit.
“That third quarter certainly got my attention. I just wasn't sure it was getting through to our girls," Campbell said.
With Savannah Carter and Sarah Green each hitting a pair of 3-pointers, the Lady Chargers outscored the home team, 16-5, and managed to pull to within 30-29 before the quarter ended.
Logan Froese, missing three of four free throws over the first three periods, opened the final quarter with a successful pair. Nut Memorial's Shelby Downing countered with a rebound bucket and it was a one-point game again.
It took a Cassidy Bowen 3-point bomb to open the Claremore flood gates. She hit the trey with 4:52 remaining and a 35-31 score. The Lady Zebras were off and running. Claremore added 10 more points while holding the Lady Chargers to three the remainder of the contest.
Froese topped Claremore with 15 points after making all six of her fourth-quarter foul shots. Audra Skimbo, coming off a 31-point performance in the regional opener, had 12 points, and Bowen, with three treys, finished with 11.
The majority of the game's 11 3-point buckets came in the opening period. All nine of Memorial's points came on treys from Carter, Green, and Casey Scott. Bowen accounted for Claremore's early two.
Claremore took the period, 12-9, by also adding two-point baskets by Bowen, Skimbo and Froese.
Mandi Walker, along with Whitney Delozier and Skimbo suiting up for their final game on the Zebra court, got into the 3-point act with Claremore's first second-quarter basket. Froese and Skimbo teamed for the remaining 10 points in the 13-4 period.
Class 6A Girls
CLAREMORE 45, MEMORIAL 34
Memorial 9 4 16 - 5 — 34
Claremore 12 13 5 15 — 45
Memorial — Green 13, Carter 12, Scott 4, Downing 3, Davis 2.
Claremore — Froese 15, Skimbo 12, Bowen 11, Walker 4, Trent 3.
Class 6A Girls
Winner advances to state. Loser plays 3 p.m., Saturday, at Tulsa Rogers.
Claremore vs. Sapulpa, 6:30 p.m., Catoosa.
Winner plays 3 p.m., Saturday, at Tulsa Rogers. Loser eliminated.
Edmond Memorial vs. Edmond North, 8 p.m., Catoosa.
Class 6A Boys
Winner advances to state. Loser plays, 8 p.m., Saturday, at Catoosa.
Jenks vs. Broken Arrow, 6:30 p.m., Catoosa.
Winner plays 8 p.m., Saturday, at Catoosa. Loser eliminated.
Owasso vs. Edmond Memorial, 8 p.m., Catoosa.