Homecoming queen Hailey Grant stepped down off the throne to slam in 16 points and vacuum 14 rebounds, handing the Claremore Lady Zebras a 48-45 victory over 14th-ranked Pryor on Tuesday night at Claremore Gym.
Her Majesty was forced to play the final 8:17 with four fouls but collected a pair of crucial hoops in the fourth quarter to help seal the win, improving the Lady Z’s record to 7-9 and dropping the Tigers to 8-9.
“I told her ‘you can’t foul out,’” CHS coach Mike Hughes said to Grant. “You’ve got to be smart.’’
The entire Claremore team was cerebral, making 5-of-6 field goal attempts in the last period, taking the lead for good at 43-42 on Grace Bump’s trey with 2:41 left. Kylie Ohman followed with another triple 1:43 later and the four-point lead was enough.
The Zebras made halftime adjustments that turned the game around.
After making just 1-of-13 3-point shots in the first half over Pryor’s tough zone, they drilled 7-of-12 in the second.
“I think it was the confidence of our young kids, and we’ve been waiting to see that happen,’’ Hughes said. “We finally saw some balls go in, and they came up big for us. We also switched to a half court wide 2-1-2 zone, and they (Pryor) didn’t expect that. It took them out of their rhythm.’’
Trailing 24-17 at intermission, the Zebras were behind by 10 when they hit the gas. After canning four of its first six treys in the second half, the home team created a 29-all tie midway in the third period.
There were four more knots, and Pryor led 42-40 after Kayley Alt scored with 3:40 to go. Then came a big Bump 3-pointer, allowing CHS to bounce ahead for the win.
“Our two sophomore guards (Bump and Ohman) stepped up big in the second half,’’ Hughes said. “They had been averaging 6 points a game combined and got 24. I told them, ‘They’ve been leaving you open, so make some shots.’ Any they did.’’
Bump backed Grant with 15 points while Ohman collected 9.
Rylie Looney, a 6-foot-1 senior, finished with 17 points for the Tigers. Kayley Alt added 13.
BOYS | PRYOR 68, CLAREMORE 57: No. 12 Pryor shot 72 percent in the second half and 65.7 for the game, easing to victory in the boys’ game.
The Tigers (11-6) secured 49 of their points off the bench with David Hazelton pouring in 28 after missing just one of 12 shots taken. Dawson Alt contributed 17 points and 9 rebounds as a reserve.
Claremore (4-10) remained in contention until the final moments by hitting 51 percent from the field and forcing 18 turnovers.
Caison Hartloff, a 6-3 junior, gave the Zebras life with 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting, while senior guard Michael Anderson pitched in 17 points.
Pryor used a trapping, pressing defense much of the way, but the Z’s solved it sufficiently to tie it at 11-all heading into the second period. CHS was in front 15-13 when Noah Smallwood scored inside a minute deep in the second.
One final deadlock came when Hartloff nailed a 3-pointer making it 18-18. Hazelton then seemed to take command with a trey, converting all four of his efforts and collecting 16 points in the period.
Leading 36-26 at halftime, Pryor again relied on Hazelton and Alt in the third.
The pair combined for all but two of Pryor’s points, and the lead grew to 48-34 on Alt’s 3-ball at 3:03.
Claremore then began chipping away at the Tigers and used an 11-2 run to come within 50-45 on a three-point play from senior Jace Schaffitzel 15 seconds into the final quarter.
Anderson drove for a layup, cutting the Z’s deficit to 57-52 with 5:25 to go, but Pryor ripped off nine-consecutive points to finish.