By Ron Holt
After placing third at the Putnam City Invitational last weekend, Bixby’s fifth-ranked Lady Spartans had scheduled Frontier Valley Conference games on the road altered this week.
Bixby, 9-3, had a scheduled Frontier Valley Conference game at Muskogee on Tuesday, Jan. 11, postponed because of Covid issues within the Muskogee program.
The Lady Spartans are scheduled to visit conference rival Jenks Friday, Jan. 14, starting at 6:30 p.m. at JHS’s Frank Herald Gymnasium. Bixby wraps up the road swing at Bartlesville on Tuesday, Jan. 18.
“We plan to use these games as an opportunity to continue to improve, develop more players to be ready to come in off the bench and strive for excellence,” Lady Spartan head coach Tina Thomas said.
Bixby returns to regular season action after winning two of three games at the Putnam City Invitational. The Lady Spartans routed No. 14 Edmond Santa Fe, 74-32, in the PC tourney opener last Thursday before falling to Class 4A’s No. 2 Classen SAS, 49-40, in the semifinals last Friday. Bixby rolled past Putnam City, 60-34, in the third-place game.
“Classen is a well-balanced and well coached team,” coach Thomas noted. “They are currently ranked No. 5 in the nation with five exceptional players who play tenacious defense and can score at will. (Darianna) Littlepage-Buggs will play at Baylor next season while several other players have D1 offers.”
Classen SAS, 13-1, defeated Class 6A’s No. 4 Putnam City West (10-3) in the PC tourney championship game, 58-46. Littlepage-Bugg, a 6-2 senior forward, led Classen in scoring with 20 points.
In Bixby’s win over Edmond Santa Fe, guards Gentry Baldwin and Gracy Wernli led BHS in scoring with 18 points each. Alyssa Nielsen added 15, Meredith Mayes six, Haley Prince five, Kassidy Blankenship three and Brynn Daniel three.
Against Classen, Wernli’s 14 points paced Bixby while Baldwin added 11, Mayes nine and Nielsen six. Wernli’s 21 points topped Bixby’s balanced scoring effort against Putnam City in the third-place game. Nielsen contributed 17 points while Mayes scored eight, Baldwin seven, Daniel four, Mady McClure three, Sadie Beltran three and Prince two.
NOTES – Wernli, a 5-9 junior guard, scored 53 points in the Putnam City Invitational, averaging 17.6 points a game. Alyssa Nielsen and Gentry Baldwin averaged in double figures in the tourney after scoring 38 and 36 points, respectively. …Jenks (2-4) had a scheduled Tuesday game with Union canceled because of Covid. Bartlesville visits Owasso Tuesday and hosts Sand Springs Friday prior to Bixby’s arrival. … Bixby’s three losses this season have been to top-ranked Edmond North (10-0), third-ranked Union (7-1) and Classen SAS.