Story and Photo by: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The No.11 ranked Charles Page High School girls’ basketball team (13-6) got a rematch against Highway 97 rival No.4 Sapulpa (17-3) Tuesday night at Sapulpa High School Chieftain Center. Earlier this season the Sandites hosted Sapulpa and lost 54-43 after leading till there was less than four minutes left. Unfortunately for the Lady Sandites, things would be no better this time around.
The game was a shootout from the start with senior guard and University of Oklahoma signee Chelsea Dungee returning the tip off for a layup in the first ten seconds. Sandite junior Sydney Pennington was fouled on a layup of her own and shot one-for-two with Sapulpa controlling the rebound and scoring a three-pointer off senior Bailey Mader for a 5-1 lead.
The teams combined for 16 points in the first two minutes alone. Things began to slow down from there and Pennington tied things up at 9-9. Senior Whitney Kameis briefly took the lead back for Sapulpa but 6’1” sophomore Gloria Mutiri hit back to back layups for a 13-10 Sandite lead going into the second period.
From there it belonged to the home team. Pennington had a layup blocked, Sandite freshman Holly Kersgieter rebounded it and sent it to Johnson, but Johnson’s corresponding layup was nullified for charging.
Mader, Dungee, and Brice Calip went on a 5-0 run for the lead. Mutiri hit a pair of free throws, but it was Sapulpa with the next four-straight baskets. Mutiri hit another field goal to put her in double digits for the first half, but Kameis iced the cake for her team with a 27-17 halftime break.
Dungee fouled Johnson to start the half and the Sandite sank both of her free throws, then Calip sent Mutiri to the line after accidentally slapping her in the face on a block attempt. Mutiri was clearly phased as she only made one of two, then was sent right back by Isabella Bacon and missed both. The Lady Sandites trailed 27-21 and it was the closest the two teams would be for the remainder of the night.
This time it was Sapulpa on the receiving end of a pair of fouls and Calip went three-of-four, then added back-to-back field goals. By the end of the third period Sapulpa had a staggering 42-24 lead.
The Lady Sandites wouldn’t go down without a fight. Senior Cierra Scott hooked a steal and sent it to junior Jessica Collins for a layup attempt. Mader fouled her and Collins missed both freebies, but Johnson got the ball back for the Sandites and sent it to Mutiri for two.
Dungee scored next but sent Johnson to the floor soon after with an elbow and fouled out of the game.
Penalties continued to define the fourth quarter, leading the Sand Springs student section to chant “you can’t do that,” to which the Cheiftains responded “you still suck.” Sand Springs retaliated with “let’s play football,” for which Sapulpa had one word. “Bixby! Bixby!”
I’m sure Sand Springs can live with barely losing one of two games to the State Champions, but nevertheless, Highway 97 Rivalry continues to show itself alive and well.
Ultimately Sapulpa would earn back the bragging rights with a final score of 54-40.
The Lady Sandites will return to action Friday night at Union (8-12) whom they have already defeated 59-39 earlier this season.