WEATHERFORD — Elgin’s Lady Owls struggled for almost three quarters, but finally found their rhythm against Clinton as they advanced to the consolation championship of the Weatherford Classic on Friday.
Elgin was able to post 50-30 win but it didn’t come easy for the 7-2 Lady Owls who allowed Clinton to rally from an early 8-0 deficit. Elgin maintained a lead, but turnovers and ineffective post play cost the Lady Owls as Clinton made an abbreviated rally.
The victory will allow Elgin to play the winner of the Lawton-McGuinness game at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Elgin head coach Brett Sanders didn’t hide the fact he was unhappy with the team’s performance on Friday.
“They didn’t play well. We came out early and shot well and then gave up the intensity and made the game ugly,” he said. “It’s really frustrating. That’s not the way we practice. It’s like they were afraid of something. I’ve gotta figure out what will give them confidence and that’s on me.”
Freshman point guard Maycee Hill led Elgin in scoring with 19 points followed by Lizzie Peak with 11 and Danika Pendley with nine points.
Elgin led 21-14 at halftime and allowed Clinton to creep closer at 23-18 about halfway through the third quarter. That’s when Peak hit a three-point basket and the Lady Owls outscored Clinton 12-4 the rest of the stanza.
The game suddenly turned into a runaway in the fourth period as the Lady Owls outscored Clinton 18-8 the final eight minutes. All of Clinton’s fourth quarter points came at the free throw line as Elgin’s defensive pace picked up. At one point, Hill scored six consecutive points to give Elgin a 46-26 advantage. Hill was also perfect at the free throw line hitting five of five charity attempts.
Elgin’s two losses have come to highly ranked teams Dale and Tuttle. Dale is ranked No. 2 in Class 2A and Tuttle is ranked No. 3 in Class 4A. Elgin lost to Dale in the finals of the Boomarang Classic last month and to Tuttle in the first round of the Weatherford Classic on Thursday.