By Shane Bennett
The Lady Wolves’ basketball season came to a valiant end at Ada in a 37-29 loss to Marlow in the 3A Area Tournament. Davis never led, but twice cut a double-digit lead to just two points, never giving up in its final game of the season.
It was an ominous beginning for Davis. After losing the opening tip, the Lady Wolves played outstanding defense for over minute to get a stop and used a fast break to get the ball all the way to the basket. Unfortunately, after missing the shot due to a foul, the Lady Wolves also missed both free throws to leave the game scoreless. That was a microcosm of the first half as played good basketball on both ends of the court, but simply struggled to score.
“We were getting the shots we wanted, we just couldn’t get them to go in,” said Davis head coach Jeff Brown after the game. “Even the free-throws we missed looked good but they would just barely rim out.”
Davis would make just three of eight free-throws in the first quarter and trailed Marlow, 7-2 by the end of it. The second quarter wasn’t much better. Back-to-back quick three-pointers turned a 7-5 game into a 13-5 advantage for Marlow. That lead would swell to 17-5 at one point before Morgan Scott came through with the last five points of the half in dramatic fashion.
She drove to the basket for a layup with 35 seconds left in the second quarter. Then, with just three seconds left Davis had a side inbound on Marlow’s end of the court.
The inbound pass was tipped by a Lady Outlaw and bounced to Scott, who took two dribbles and then fired a three-pointer. As the buzzer sounded the ball rolled around the rim twice before falling through the net to the roar of a raucous Davis crowd.
Those theatrics cut the lead to just seven points and allowed Davis to reset at halftime.
“At halftime I told the girls that we were right there with them,” Brown recalled. “All we had to do was keep playing great defense and working hard and maybe we’ll make some more shots in the second half.”
Right on cue, Logan Pruitt and Grace Murphy tag-teamed the Lady Outlaws for an 8-2 run to get back in the game. Pruitt turned a long rebound into a fast break and ultimate sunk the first two of four straight free-throws. Then Murphy turned a steal into a layup and followed with another layup on a press-breaker to cut the deficit to three, 21-18.
A three pointer by Jacie Lanoy a few seconds later made it 23-21, Marlow with 2:02 left in the third. A Marlow three-pointer with 22 seconds left in the frame stretched the lead back to six, 28-22 to start the fourth quarter.
Early in the fourth, a set play got Chloe Summers open and she buried a three-pointer. Then LaNoy started a fast break with a long rebound and found Pruitt for a layup to cut the lead to just one, 28-27 with 5:10 left in the game. After another three-pointer by Marlow, Pruitt came up with a huge steal and layup to again cut the lead to two with just 3:45 to play.
Unfortunately for the Lady Wolves, that would their last bucket of the game as the Lady Outlaws scored the last six points of the game to ice it.
“I was so proud of our girls’ effort in the game,” Brown said later. “We faced a lot of adversity throughout the season and just like they did in this last game, our girls never quit.”
Davis finished the season with a record of 17-9 and even though it didn’t end the way the team wanted it to, coach Brown was proud of his team’s success this year.
“There were a lot of nights that Grace Murphy was a best player and when you think about losing her and having Chloe Summers sick for a stretch there, our girls really overcame a lot this year,” he said. “Then to win three games back-to-back-to-back at Regionals against teams that were seeded higher than us and give Marlow, the champions of our conference all they wanted, there is a lot to proud of.”
Brown also sees the life lessons that a season like this one gives to his players.
“We talked about how important this is not just in basketball, but in life. Whether you’re talking about college or your job one or in a marriage, things get hard and you can’t give up,” Brown explained. “Our girls never gave up all year. We weren’t always really good, but we always had great effort.”
Marlow went on to top Washington on Friday, 55-37 and then nearly nocked off Kingston on Saturday. They lost 34-27 as Kingston earned a trip to the state tournament.
The Lady Wolves will graduate Jordan Brown, Grace Murphy and Morgan Scott, who ended their senior season in the area tournament.
Team 1 2 3 4 – F
Davis 2 8 12 7 – 29
Marlow 7 10 11 9 – 37
D – Logan Pruitt 12, Grace Murphy 6, Morgan Scott 5, Chloe Summers 3 and Jacie LaNoy 3.