Inside the Claremore High School Gym, victories don’t come easy for opposing teams.
With a swarming pressure defense and the intense student section, the Claremore Lady Zebras and Zebras used that to their advantage and gained ‘sweet redemption’ on Grove Thursday night in Metro Lakes Conference action.
Lauren Chancellor and Kaleigh Cox combined for 28 points to guide the Lady Zebras to a 42-31 victory in the opener; while Reid Joyner tallied 10 points to pace the Zebras to a 37-24 win.
The night-cap win for the Zebras snapped a five-game losing streak while improving to 2-1 in conference.
Claremore’s girls, meanwhile, maintained their dominance in conference with balanced scoring and strong inside-outside play from Cox and Chancellor.
Chancellor, a 6-foot freshman power forward, controlled the game from the opening tip and garnered help from 4-year starting point guard (Kaleigh) Cox.
Chancellor’s game-high 16 points — 8 in both halves — allowed the Lady Zebras to pull away from 9-8 first quarter lead.
Clinging to a 23-17 halftime, the Lady Zebras took the lead for good at 29-24 on Monica Taylor’s three-pointer with 3:49 remaining in the third quarter.
Three consecutive baskets from Chancellor in the paint increased the Lady Zebras lead to 35-24 with 2:05 left.
Cox, who scored in double-digits with 12 points, anchored Claremore’s full-court press and came away with seven steals.
Along with Cox and Chancellor, Taylor tallied six points while Bailey Steckline and Morgan Johnson added four each.
In the boys’ game, the Zebras raced out to an 8-2 lead and never looked back.
Though both teams exhibited sloppy offense in the early going, the Zebras hit a spark after halftime and outscored Grove, 19-17.
Hunter Garroutte’s driving layup with 2:06 in the third quarter pushed Claremore’s lead to 24-11. Garroutte continued to find the net with a short-jumper from Truman Burrage to make it 26-11.
Joyner and Jeff Oxford combined for 17 of the Zebras’ 37 points, including nine of the 19 in the second half.
A penetrating layup by Burrage pushed Claremore’s lead to 32-15 with 3:51 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Oxford finished with seven points, while Burrage had five and Garroutte had four. Chris Dominguez also tallied four points in his first appearance this season.
Trent Lyle led Grove with a game-high 14 points.