NORMAN — Freshman Kelby Carter scored five of Elgin’s final seven points in the last 34 seconds to propel the Lady Owls to a 46-37 win and a Class 4A district championship over Community Christian Friday night.
Carter, who had injured her ankle earlier in the game, retrieved the ball after a near Elgin turnover and scored a bucket and a plus-one with 34 seconds left to play giving the Lady Owls a 42-36 lead. Freshman point guard Maycee Hill followed that with two free throws 15 seconds later and then Carter sank two more charity attempts with nine ticks left on the clock to seal the win.
Elgin, 14-10, advance to the regional tournament next Thursday at Bethany. Elgin will likely play the winner of the Bethany-McGuinness game which was held Saturday night. Bethany is ranked No. 3 in Class 4A.
“We came through. I’m proud of our team,” Elgin head coach Brett Sanders said. “We played a good team and were able to finish. I’m proud of the way the girls played in the fourth quarter. They stepped it up and had some made some big threes.”
The Lady Owls connected on three three-point buckets in the fourth quarter, including two from sophomore Maddy Nez who finished the game with nine points. Elgin led 31-30 when Nez hit her first trey and 34-32 when she connected on her second shot from behind the arc. Her three-point bucket gave Elgin its 37-34 lead with 3:34 left to play.
The game was close from the opening tipoff until Elgin broke it open in the waning moments of the fourth quarter. Community Christian held a brief 24-23 lead but senior Taylor Squyres changed that with a three-point bucket to reclaim the lead 26-24. The game was tied two more times but Elgin never trailed again.
Community Christian’s full-court press gave the Lady Owls some problems throughout the game.
“We worked all week long (in practice) and broke it every time. Tonight we got a little panic in us,” Sanders said. “We were hesitating and you can’t do that. If you hesitate in a press you’re in trouble.”
Hill led Elgin in scoring with 17 points, including three three-point buckets in the first half, followed by Carter with 12.