By Ron Holt
Bixby’s Wernli sisters- senior Gracy and freshman Kate – made a pact at halftime that helped propel the Lady Spartans to an 81-44 Frontier Valley Conference victory over Bartlesville in Whitey Ford Field House last Friday night.
At halftime, the Lady Spartans led 32-21 over the improved Lady Bruins as Kate scored 14 points and Gracy scored 12 points.
“When we came in at halftime we said, ‘here’s the gameplan if you hit 20 points, you’re getting me to 20 and if I hit 20, I’m getting you to 20,’” Gracy said. “We both wanted to hit 20 points. She shot the ball really well … she’s stepped up every time we needed her to. It’s so fun … I love playing with her.”
Kate added, “We just decided we needed a sister night and if one of us got 20 we were going to help the other get 20. I just started hitting and I was getting good passes from my teammates. It was so much fun.”
Going into the fourth quarter, Gracy had amassed 23 points, sinking five three-pointers. Kate entered the final frame with 17 points. She hit back-to-back three-pointers with 5:26 left to reach her 23 points, finishing with seven three-point field goals. The sisters tied for game-high scoring honors.
Bixby, 12-6 and riding a four-game winning streak, seized the lead midway through the first quarter and held a 19-9 first quarter lead despite a sluggish start. Leading 21-16 with 4:55 showing in the second quarter, the Lady Spartans made a move when K. Wernli sank two consecutive three-pointers for a 27-16 lead with 4:12 remaining.
“We weren’t very patient initially. We were taking a shot not the shot, but we got into a flow in the second half and that helped us,” Lady Spartan head coach Tina Thomas said. “Our halfcourt attack kind of got us into turbo speed coming out in the second half.”
K. Wernli scored off a drive and canned another three-pointer with 2:23 left in the second quarter as the Lady Spartans’ cruised to a 32-21 lead at intermission.
Bixby caught fire early in the third quarter and used a balanced scoring attack led by G. Wernli’s 11 points in outscoring the visitors 27-10 in the third quarter to take a 49-31 advantage entering the final stanza.
Two treys by K. Wernli gave Bixby a 67-33 lead with 5:26 lead and sophomore Ama Musick scored eight of her 12 points in the fourth quarter as Lady Spartan reserves closed out the game.
Following the Wernli sisters’ 23 points, Bixby received 12 points by Musick, 10 from senior Alyssa Nielsen, seven by senior Gentry Baldwin and two points each by Brynn Daniel, Bailey Wilson and Sadie Beltran.
NEXT GAMES – Bixby has a busy week with three games, starting with Monday’s make-up game at Jenks (10-6). Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m. Bixby’s girls return to Whitey Ford Field House for the final two regular season home games as Sand Springs (12-5) visits on Tuesday, Feb. 7, and Owasso (11-7) visits Friday, Feb. 10.
Senior Night activities will be held Friday night as both the Lady Spartans and Spartan seniors will be recognized along with their parents.
BIXBY 81, BARTLESVILLE 44
Bixby Scoring – Gracy Wernli 23, Kate Wernli 23, Ama Musick 12, Alyssa Nielsen 10, Gentry Baldwin 7, Brynn Daniel 2, Bailey Wilson 2, Sadie Beltran 2.