Lady Bombers top Booker T. Washington to win Moore tournament
By Jacob Sturm
Early foul trouble didn’t mitigate Midwest City’s advantage when the Lady Bombers met Booker T. Washington in the final for the John Nobles Invitational Tournament Saturday night.
In the 53-41 victory, Midwest City had to get creative. De’Yanna Douglas picked up two quick fouls and went to the bench within 30 seconds of the opening tip, but the Lady Bombers responded well and blitzed out to a 15-7 lead after the opening quarter.
When Douglas did get on the court for a long stretch, the Hornets defense changed to compensate. Douglas relentlessly crashed the glass and forced her way to the free throw line on multiple occasions.
The result meant the Hornets began denying Douglas, who won Tournament MVP following the game, and daring the Lady Bombers to shoot from outside.
Midwest City coach, Megan Maloy-Knight, said the discussions with the team centered around the atmosphere and intensity equating to a playoff-type environment. Once the game started, the message seemed clear.
“We just talked about not letting up and to continue attacking them, to continue being smart, to continue doing the little things,” Maloy-Knight said. “The biggest thing was limiting their opportunities on the glass.”
Rebounding favored Midwest City too. In fact, the Lady Bombers’ energy seemed to be the difference on the glass at multiple points. That led to an early second-half timeout from Booker T while furthering the gap for the Hornets to overcome.
Then came another flurry of production from Douglas, including an offensive rebound and layup to beat the third quarter buzzer.
“She does a really good job for us being an offensive threat and a defensive threat, especially rebounding,” Maloy-Knight said.
Down the stretch, ball movement shrunk the possessions and made the Hornets work to get stops. That’s where All-Tournament awardee Saliyah Landon, Douglas and the rest of the team thrived.
“(I was) just making sure I looked for my teammates and made sure we moved the ball and kept the clock running,” Douglas said.
Despite winning Tournament MVP, Douglas was happy about a different result from the performance. That was the team’s collective performance.
“I’m just glad they kept their heads up and they made sure to stay smart and not give up,” Douglas said. “…(They) sure stayed together as a team. That’s the main point today, just the team stayed together.”
Maloy-Knight said the three-day tournament pitted the team against multiple top-level teams in the state.
“This is a tough tournament,” Maloy-Knight said. “I’m just really excited for them to finally (win one). Tournaments haven’t been our best thing. It’s just nice to put three days together.”
Midwest City advanced to the finals with wins over Norman North and Bishop Miege (Kansas).
The Lady Bombers opened the tournament with a 48-33 win over North on Thursday afternoon.
Douglas had a double double with 23 points and 17 rebounds. Landon and Myracle Washington each had seven points.
On Friday, Midwest City’s girls finished strong to beat Bishop Miege 54-44 in the semifinals.
The Lady Bombers outscored Bishop Miege 14-6 in the final four minutes of the game. The Stags tied the game at 38-38 and Douglas responded with a quick score for a two-point lead. Landon scored on a fastbreak, and Washington added a basket and free throws for a 48-40 lead with 1:25 remaining.
Midwest City iced the win with free throws from Mya Brown, Douglas and Landon.
Douglas led the team with 16 points, Landon scored 15 and Washington had 13.
The Lady Bombers finished the tournament with a victory over Booker T. Washington.
Midwest City hosted Putnam City West on Tuesday and will travel to Del City on Friday night.