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Bixby girls set Tournament of Champions record in semifinal thrashing over Kiefer – Presented by Richard Stephens, DDS

TULSA — Bixby’s varsity girls basketball team throttled Kiefer 77-22, setting a Tournament of Champions record for margin of victory Thursday afternoon in the BOK Center.

The 55-point win broke the 19-year old record set by Jenks in a 54-point win over Okay in 2003. The second-ranked Spartans executed coach Tina Thomas’ game plan “maybe even better” than expected, she said.

“Cleary, we wanted to limit No. 21 (Kiefer senior Shayna Hendrix) in her outside attempts and do the best we could on (Hannah) Coons, because she’s a really good player,” Thomas said after the win. “I thought the girls kept those two facets in mind and executed the defensive side.

Hendrix and Coons combined for 11 points. Bixby limited the No. 5 team in 3A to 5-42 shooting from the field overall.

“Gracy (Wernli) and Brynn (Daniel) shutting down Hannah Coons on defense, that was kind of our main goal,” senior point guard and Oral Roberts signee Gentry Baldwin said. “Anytime she touched it, we were just going to collapse on her, and they did a good job keeping her in front.”

The Spartans will play the winner of Lincoln Christian/Sapulpa at 7 p.m. Saturday for the 57th annual T.of.C championship. With a win, Bixby would become the first back-to-back T.of.C champion since East Central (2010-11).

Wernli, and Abilene Christian signee, scored 27 points while shooting 4-7 from the 3-point line to lead the Spartans.

“You don’t have to motivate these girls to play offense. They like to shoot the ball, which is good,” Thomas said.

Baldwin scored 15 points. As her team shot 45% from 3, Baldwin said it was “very easy” to rack up her seven assists.

“With Alyssa (Nielsen) running the floor for layups and then knowing Gracy is going to knock it down, or Kate (Wernli), it makes it a lot easier to throw it,” the point guard said. “It only helps me, so I’m like ‘you guys make all the shots you want.’”

Nielsen, a Drury signee, recorded an 11-point, 12-rebound double-double. Kate Wernli scored 9.

“We’ve been emphasizing how she (Nielsen) has got to provide that inside presence and pick up some of the rebounding slack, and she did a really awesome job today,” Thomas said.

The Spartans shot ahead to a 31-point lead at half. Wernli, who scored 12 in the first half, hit three consecutive shots to open the third quarter as she led the Spartans to 61-17 third quarter lead.

“When we were down in Phoenix (at the Nike Tournament of Champions) last week, we had some leads at halftime and we didn’t… come out with that assertiveness in our third quarter,” Thomas said. “To do the things we want to do this season, we have to play four solid quarters. I thought they gave me that today.”

BIXBY 77, KIEFER 22

Kiefer;6;3;8;5;–;22

Bixby;21;19;21;16;–;77

Kiefer: Coons 6, S. Hendrix 5, Calvert 3, Williams 2, Watashe 2, Bonilla 2, Goodman 1, Rowton 1

Bixby: G. Wernli 27, Baldwin 15, Nielsen 11, K. Wernli 9, Musick 5, Blankenship 3, Daniel 3, Datel 2

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