Lady Outlaws get hard-fought win; Lions overpower Outlaws

by Todd Brooks
Seth Olvera playing defense against Blanchard last Friday night. Seth Olvera playing defense against Blanchard last Friday night.

Coming off a tough loss from three days before, the Marlow Lady Outlaws did not let their second straight game slip away against a quality opponent.

On Jan. 15, the Lady Outlaws, who led the entire second half, saw Washington chip away at their lead and win on a three-point shot with just over five seconds left.

Friday was a different story. The Lady Outlaws and the Blanchard Lady Lions battled for four quarters in a low-scoring, but a hard-fought game. In the end, Marlow, trailing by three points with 2:32 left in the contest, got five straight points from Mia Meshell to close out the game to secure a 27-25 win over the Class 4A No. 18 team.

Neither team managed to find double digits in any quarter and there were seven ties and four ties throughout the game, including three lead changes and two ties in the final quarter.

Marlow coach Terri Reimer saw it as a good win and not necessarily what they needed after the Washington game ended.

“(Blanchard is) a good team and it may be good for our psyche to win a close game,” Reimer said. “It was good to make some free throws in the fourth quarter after we didn’t against Washington. I try not to let one game bleed on to the next. I wasn’t thinking about Washington when it was coming down the stretch.”

Reimer gave credit to the low-scoring game to both teams playing outstanding defense more than the offenses being off.

The Lady Lions kept Marlow leading scorer Lauren Wade in check for most of the game. She had a game-high 11 points but had to work hard for every point.

For their part, Marlow kept close tabs on sophomore Carly Craig. The Lady Outlaws played with one defender always on Craig man-to-man while the rest of the team played a zone.

“She’s not that big of a scoring threat, but their offense runs through her and we felt like if we could keep someone on her, they would have a harder time getting their offense going,” Reimer said.

Blanchard (9-6) led at the end of every quarter except the fourth (7-6 in the first, 13-11 in the second and 20-19 in the third).

Marlow (10-3) avoided its third loss in four games with the win as they head into the Stephens County as the top seed.

Scoring

Marlow: Lauren Wade, 11; Mia Meshell, 8; Judeah Valenzuela, 3; Jenna Wade, 3, Macey Bateman, 2

Blanchard: Kenzie Pulliam, 6; Addie Trent, 6; Callie Hacker, 4; Mattie Pannell, 3; Kenzi Cockerham, 3; Carly Craig, 3

Lions 55, Outlaws 34

The Outlaws were feisty and gritty but could not get their offense going as Blanchard led from start to finish.

Marlow (3-10) was down 25-14 going into the third quarter when it got a spark from J.P. Forsythe, who scored nine points early in the quarter to get the lead as close as four points. During the run, Forsythe followed up a three-pointer with a rare four-point play.

The Lions would respond, however, closing out the quarter, 13-2, to take a 40-25 lead into the final quarter.

During halftime, Macey Bateman was crowned the Marlow Basketball Homecoming Queen by crowning captain Cameron Freeman.

A special moment happened late in the fourth quarter when Marlow coach Kirk Harris inserted senior Seth Olvera, who has cerebral palsy, into the line-up. Harris told the referees and Blanchard coach Jeff Word what he was doing.

Blanchard (9-6) inbounded the ball and Word – probably for the first time in his seven-year high school basketball coaching career – shouted at his own players to turn the ball over. Following a bad shot by the Lions, Marlow took the ball to the other end of the floor.

The Outlaws got the ball to Olvera under the basket, who missed twice before getting his third shot to fall for the final points of the game.

Olvera got an ovation not only from the crowd and his teammates but the Blanchard players and bench as well.

Scoring

Marlow: J.P. Forsythe, 11; Cameron Freeman, 6; Junior Marroquin, 5; Trevan Stewart, 4; Sam Ivory, 4; Seth Olvera, 2; Jace Gilbert, 1; Kolby Ladwig, 1

Blanchard: McCale Bailey, 20; Whitt Carpenter, 9; Chase Turner, 7; Jack Kiker, 6; Laine Hall, 6; Caleb Reed, 6