THS Girls Win Title in Route 66 Tournament
January 16, 2020
Fresh off Christmas break, the young Lady Savage basketball team accomplished something that hasn’t done by a Lady Savage team in over a decade by winning the Route 66 Tournament Championship in Stroud.
With a record of 4-3 going into the break, the Lady Savages came back to competition and beat Class 2A’s 18th-ranked Luther 48-44 in overtime in the opening round game of the tournament. The Savages were behind most of the game and used a massive fourth quarter to tie the game and send it into OT.
Tecumseh trailed 12-7 after the opening period and was behind 22-17 at the half. The third quarter saw Luther extend the lead to double digits at 31-22 heading into the fourth quarter. Then, the Lady Savages went on a scoring frenzy to win the final quarter 20-11 and knot the game at 42-42. In the overtime, the Lady Savages limited Luther to just one bucket while scoring six to take the win.
Kenzli Warden was the leading scoring for the Lady Savages with 19 points, including eight points in the fourth quarter and three in overtime. Katelyn LaFrance and Schantel Evans were also in double figures with LaFrance knocking down 12 and Evans tossing in 10. Taylor Mansell had five and Tawny Billy, who was injured in the game, added two points.
After the surprising win over Luther, Tecumseh faced Seminole in the semifinals and handled the Lady Chieftains fairly handily. The Lady Savages won the first quarter 11-8 and then extended the lead to 24-17 at halftime. A big third-quarter run by Tecumseh pushed the lead to daunting 41-24 lead over Seminole. Tecumseh did enough in the fourth quarter to secure the win by a 49-30 score.
Billy bounced back from her nose injury to tally 13 points and lead the Lady Savages in scoring. Warden had another solid game as she pumped in 12. Evans tossed in seven points while Mansell and Marissa Gouge each supplied six points in the win. LaFrance and Baylee Crawford added three and two points respectively.
In the Championship, the Lady Savages had the tough task of facing the host team, Stroud. The title tilt was a tight one through the first half with Stroud leading 9-7 after the first quarter. Tecumseh owned the second quarter by outscoring the Lady Tigers 10-5 and taking a 17-14 lead into halftime.
Coming out of the locker room, the Lady Savages outpaced Stroud 14-8 and took a comfortable 31-22 lead into the fourth quarter. The Lady Tigers weren’t going to quit on their home floor and fought back in the fourth quarter as the Lady Savages had more turnovers than shots in the period.
Tecumseh scored only four points in the fourth quarter, including two big free throws by Mansell and a bucket by Warden to do just enough to hold on for a 35-32 win and claim the tournament title over the top-seeded Lady Tigers.
Warden led the Lady Savages in scoring with 14, including two treys in the game. Billy, who was in foul trouble early on, was also in double digits with 11 points. Evans was held to four points in the win while Mansell got her only two points of the game at the most crucial point with the charity tosses in the fourth. LaFrance and Gouge each tossed in two points for Tecumseh.
Warden was not only the leading scorer in the game but grabbed 12 rebounds to the lead the Lady Savages on the boards. LaFrance pulled down eight in the win while Mansell grabbed seven. Evans cleared the glass five times for the Lady Savages. Warden was named Most Valuable Player of the Route 66 Tournament and finished the tourney with a 15 point per game average. Billy, despite her injury, was also named to the All-Tournament team.
The Lady Savages won four games in a row to move to their record to 7-3 on the season. Next up for the Lady Savages is a road trip to Noble tomorrow (Friday) before hosting Mt. St. Mary Tuesday.