Two longtime basketball foes locked horns Tuesday night as Claremore and Tulsa Kelley played to a draw in high school basketball.
Tyler Thalker scored 26 points to lead the Kelley boys to a 76-62 win after the Claremore girls held the Lady Comets scoreless for more than six minutes in the fourth quarter. The defensive shutdown allowed the Lady Zebras to take a 52-47 triumph and improve to 16-1 for the year.
The Comets had five players in double figures and were never threatened after Thalker's seven first-quarter points allowed his team to stake an 18-10 lead.
Joe Dowell and Chris O'Brien each had 11 points while Matt Reynolds and Logan Stover each chipped in 10.
Both sides had eight players score, but Alex Miller with 16 and Jaren Riley with 12 were in double figures for the Zebras as they dropped to 8-10 for the season.
Half of Riley's total came on a pair of early treys in the fourth quarter.
As each team started emptying the benches, Claremore outscored the Comets, 21-18, in the fourth quarter. It was too little and too late for hope of a comeback.
Less than three weeks ago, the Lady Zebras rolled to a 21-point win in a game played on Kelley's Tulsa campus. It was not quite that easy Tuesday night.
Battling both a pesky Lady Comet defensive effort and an even peskier team illness, Claremore had its hands full.
"Several of the girls were sick tonight. There was so much coughing in the dressing room we couldn't even talk to them at halftime," coach Mark Campbell said, following his 277th victory with the Claremore girls.
Tied at 38 going into the final quarter, Claremore started with a 9-0 run and didn't allow a Kelley basket until 1:28 remained. Julianne Pelger broke the spell with a baseline layup. Fouled on the play, her following free throw pulled Kelley to within 47-41.
As they did in a five-point overtime win in their last game, the Lady Zebras used free throws to wrap up this one. Claire Detter and Audra Skimbo with two free throws each and Mandi Walker added one to provide the final five Zebra points.
Due to the team's health conditions, Claremore wanted to work the ball inside. The plan worked as 6-1 junior Logan Froese topped all players with 21 points. All of her points came from inside the key.
Claremore was two of seven on 3-point shots. Walker hit one just before half and Siera Barnwell repeated the trick with a 31-footer from out front as the third quarter was starting up.
Unable to drive on the home team, Kelley went to the long ball 14 times and connected on five.
Kelley, 7-8, used several Claremore ball-handling miscues (five turnovers) to take a seven-point lead at the start of the game.
The Lady Zebras didn't go in front until Detter, on an assist from Cassidy Bowen, gave them a 13-12 lead 1:10 into the second quarter.
The Lady Comets could not move back in front, but a 7-0 run at the end of the third quarter did force the tie at 38.
Skimbo finished with 13 points while Walker had 10.
Kelley was led by Kristen Kelley's 14 and Pelger with 13.
KELLEY 76, CLAREMORE 62
Kelley 18 22 18 18 — 76
Claremore 10 19 12 21 — 62
Tulsa Kelley — Thalker 26, Dowell 11, Kelley 11, O'Brien 11, Reynolds 10, Stover 4, Walton 2, Mogelnicki 1.
Claremore — Miller 16, Riley 12, Shisler 9, Boyles 7, Mosely 5, Beller 5, Seago 4, James 4.
CLAREMORE 52, KELLEY 47
Kelley 9 13 16 9 — 47
Claremore 9 14 15 14 — 52
Tulsa Kelley — Kelley 14, Pelger 13, Bykowski 8, Heinrick 5, Guedry 3, Karlish 2, Lohmeyer 2.
Claremore — Froese 21, Skimbo 13, Walker 10, Barnwell 4, Detter 4.