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March 8, 2013

Mistakes pile up in ’Cats exit from state

SKIATOOK — Kayla Tucker wanted a storybook ending for Southmoore. One in which the SaberCats raised the state championship gold ball in front of all their fans and disbelievers.

Unfortunately, for the ’Cats, that wasn’t how the book ended. A nightmare barrage of turnovers and mistakes led to a 59-48 loss to Booker T. Washington on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Class 6A tournament at the Skiatook Activities Center.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Tucker said. “My senior year ending like this. Wanted to give a better run at it, but it happened and just have to move on from it.”

Southmoore ends its season with a 21-6 record — 10 games better than last year. But it was the disarray they played with at times in the finale that was on the team’s mind. That included the more than 20 turnovers they compiled.

“Obviously we lost the ball game and the turnovers were the key to the ball game,” Southmoore coach Britney Kannady-Sayes said. “That was the difference. I think we got a little winded and we let one turnover turn into two or three. That’s been our problem all season, letting one mistake turn into multiples.”

Washington’s Kaylan Mayberry led all scorers with 20. Makenzie Ellis added 14.

Serithia Hawkins led Southmoore with 17 points and 15 rebounds. But she was held to three points in the second half. Kyra Gilbert added 13 and Kyeria Hannah chipped in with 12 points and eight rebounds. Tucker was held to 3 points in her final game.

“I have to give credit to Mayberry on that one,” Hornets coach Annette Kennedy said. “I think she had her rattled from the get-go. When you are spending all your time worrying about whether you can dribble or not, it’s hard to think about shooting.”

In the first four minutes it had thrown the ball away six times, many times under light pressure.

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