Claremore and Tulsa Kelley split high school basketball games Tuesday night at the Frank Mobra Fieldouse.
The Lady Zebras used a fourth-quarter defensive stand to capture a 61-56 win while the Comets coasted to a 68-46 victory in the boys game.
This Six Lakes Conference pairing was the final outing for both schools prior to the Christmas holiday break.
With a roster that includes 11 players at 6-2 or taller, Kelley was actually led by 5-11 guard Matt Reynolds. He scored 16 points for game honors.
As the scoring margin spread, the Comets went to their bench early and 10 of the 11 players answered with points.
Chris Bottoms hit the first basket for a 2-0 Zebra lead. Except for tying at 3 and 5, Kelley went on top and stayed.
After Brent Wilson, Claremore's leading scorer with 15 points, knotted the score at 5, Kelley's Chris O'Brien was fouled when he attempted a three-pointer. He dropped in all three free throws. Tyler Thalken followed with a successful trey and Kelley, now up 11-5, was off and running.
Reynolds scored 13 points in the first half as the Comets were building a 35-26 edge. They followed with a 20-10 third-quarter showing.
Bottoms finished with 14 points behind Wilson.
It was Claremore's first conference setback. The Zebras are 2-1 in league play and 3-3 overall. Kelley is 2-1 and 6-1.
A 10-3 rally to open the final quarter allowed Kelley to pull to within 57-56. That's as close as the Lady Zebras allowed them.
With 48 seconds to play, Audra Skimbo drove for a successful layup and was fouled. She made good the free throw and then added another with nine seconds left.
Kelley had three opportunities to take the lead after pulling to within one. Claremore's defensive stand was made up by Lauren Froese, Skimbo, Hayley KnifeChief, Erica Johnson and Logan Froese. The five refused to yield.
As good as the defense was in the closing minutes, it was the Zebra scoring that head coach Mark Campbell and assistant Kandy Damron talked about after the game.
"It was certainly great to see Hayley scoring again," Damron said. "She's been sick. Hopefully, she is back and ready to play. Logan has been ill, also, and she is fighting through that.”
KnifeChief, held scoreless in Saturday’s one-point loss to Union, topped the Zebras with 19 points. Skimbo finished with 18 and Johnson had 11.
"Erica hit some big threes for us," Campbell said.
Claremore, after some seesawing at the start, led through the first half until 1:15 to play. Nicollette Smith gave Kelley the lead, 30-29, with a trey. KnifeChief did likewise for Claremore and the half ended at 34-34.
The third quarter belonged to the Zebras. Johnson hit two of her three treys to give Claremore an eight-point edge going into the final quarter.
Ann Farrell, a 6-1 senior, scored 23 points for Kelley, 16 in the second half.
Claremore is 4-2, and 2-1 in conference. Kelley is 5-2 and 1-2.
KELLEY 68, CLAREMORE 46
Tulsa Kelley 20 15 20 13 — 68
Claremore 16 10 10 10 — 46
Kelley — Reynolds 16, Joe Dowdell 14, O'Brien 12, Bettinger 8, Frazier 8, Thalken 3, Kelley 2, Hubbarth 2, Mcllroy 2, Jack Dowdell 1, Maguire 0.
Claremore — Wilson 15, Bottoms 14, Rounds 7, Estes 3, Grubb 3, Boyles 2, Hines 2, Sanders 0, James 0.
CLAREMORE 61, KELLEY 56
Tulsa Kelley 12 22 12 10 — 56
Claremore 15 19 20 7 — 61
Kelley — Farrell 23, Ortiz 16, Smith 9, Kelley 6, Ruiz 2, Bykowski 0.
Claremore — KnifeChief 19, Skimbo 18, Johnson 11, Lauren Froese 7, Logan Froese 6, Barnoski 0.