Having already posted a double-digit win over Guthrie this season, El Reno High School’s girls basketball team was expecting a closer game in last week’s rematch.
Adding in the distraction of the game falling on senior night helped create the makings for a nail-biting finish.
El Reno used a 9-0 run midway through the fourth period to seal a 48-36 win over the Class 5A 12th-ranked Bluejays in a close ball game which up until that point had been a two-possession contest.
The 12-point win gave El Reno, ranked No.8 in the same 5A poll, an 11-10 season record.
More importantly, it lifted the Indians to 7-2 on the year against Suburban Conference foes and 4-1 in league games which count toward the title.
“Coach Douglas (Jennifer) told us to calm down and keep our heads because we had not planned on it going down like that. We talked about all that stuff (senior night) not bothering us, it just took us a little bit more time to overcome it,” said senior guard Emily Bellymule.
El Reno led 35-34 going into the fourth period after battling through two ties in the third period. A backdoor layup by Charlee Bushyhead started the 9-0 rally, which was followed by two Bellymule free throws and another from Bushyhead to make it a 40-34 game.
Bushyhead scored off an interior feed from Jaylin Reveles to make it an eight-point lead. Reveles scored the first of two baskets in the final 1:28 to extend the margin to 10 points.
Guthrie got a late basket but El Reno fired back with a Reveles jumper and two Bellymule free throws, both in the final 15.1 seconds, to secure the 12-point decision.
Bellymule was the top scorer for El Reno with 19 points, 12 of those coming in the third period, including a 3-pointer. She added eight rebounds.
Reveles followed with seven points, six rebounds, four assists and a steal. Merzedes Macias chipped in seven points, two boards and a steal. Bushyhead off the bench closed with seven points, seven rebounds, four blocked shots and two steals. Three of those blocks came in the fourth period.
Point guard Hayden Freeman had six points and three boards.