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Lady Eagles take long and winding road to state

The Del City High School girls basketball team celebrates after winning a Class 5A Area consolation championship and advancing to the state tournament on Saturday. The Lady Eagles beat Shawnee 53-39. Photo by Jeff Harrison

Del City wins three straight in playoffs

By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon

PIEDMONT – There have been plenty of ups and downs this season for the Del City girls basketball team.

They hit a new high on Saturday afternoon as they punched their ticket for the Class 5A basketball state tournament with a 53-39 win over Shawnee in the area consolation finals.

“It’s been a roller coaster ride this year,” said coach Mariah White. “We’ve had ups and downs but in the end it’s been fun. I’m happy for the girls. Not a lot of people believed in us.”

Junior Shelby Thornton said the team was locked in on Saturday afternoon for their third straight playoff win. She finished the game with 16 points.

“We got here by sticking together,” she said. “When we got here today, we knew it was all business.”

Sophomore Sacha Hunt paced the Lady Eagles with 20 points and three 3-pointers.

The Lady Eagles (16-12) got off to a rocky start this season with several key players missing games in the first month. They started the year 3-7 before picking up steam and placing third in District 5A-2.

Playoffs have been a wild ride too. In their first playoff game, Del City beat Guthrie in triple overtime before falling to Carl Albert in the regional finals. They kept their state title hopes alive with wins over Elgin and Guthrie before beating Shawnee on Saturday.

“A lot of people said it was going to be the end of our season when we lost to Carl Albert,” White said. “This group is always going to fight back.”

Del City used tough defense to shut down the Lady Wolves (17-10). Shawnee was held to single digit scoring in each of the first two quarters. Del City led 23-15 at halftime.
The lead grew to double digits in the second half. Courtnie McCarroll hit a 3-pointer late in the third for a 38-26 lead after three.

Shawnee couldn’t close the gap in the fourth as the Lady Eagles won 53-39.

“That’s the most disciplined game that we’ve played,” White said. “Our identity is defense. We might not hit every shot and might not make every free throw, but we can always go on the other end and defense. That’s what we try and lock in on.”

It is Del City’s first time to qualify for state since 2020. The state tournament was canceled that year due to the pandemic.

The Lady Eagles open the state tournament against undefeated El Reno (25-0) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman.

The Del City High School girls basketball team qualified for the Class 5A state tournament Saturday with a win over Shawnee. Photo by Jeff Harrison

 

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