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McAlester had to deal with second and fourth quarter comebacks from Ada at home Tuesday night, but hung on, 47 40.

The Class 5A No. 20 Lady Buffaloes (9 10) staved off the Lady Cougars in large part thanks to junior Erin Kelley who made four 3 pointers, which came in a timely fashion. McAlester had a 15 14 lead at the half, and Kelley knocked down a 3 point shot at roughly the 7:41 mark for some breathing room at 18 14.

Ada came right back about 15 seconds later to cut it to an 18 16 deficit, but after a minute of not scoring on either side, Kelley answered and banked in another from 3 point land to make it 21 16 Lady Buffs.

Senior Sydney Shelton shot a free throw with 5:44 remaining in the third quarter as she was 1 of 2 with that trip to the line. Kelley knocked down her third shot from beyond the arc, and it was a 25 16 McAlester edge.

Kelley also played a role in putting Ada’s fourth quarter rally to bed. It was a 33 23 score in favor of the Lady Buffs after three. The Lady Cougars put up six unanswered points to begin the quarter, but with approximately four minutes to go, Kelley knocked down her fourth from behind the arc to push it to a 36 29 McAlester lead.

“She stepped into there and shot with confidence and knocked down some big shots for us,” McAlester head coach Jarrod Owen said.

This win gave McAlester its second win over Ada this season. The Lady Buffs also had an overtime win on the road Jan. 9 against the Lady Cougars, 42 37. The victory also is a turnaround from Friday’s 57 32 loss to Idabel.

“In the course of a long season, you’re going to have games where you just don’t play well, and Friday night was one of those games where just did not play well,” Owen said.

Owen said he told the team before the game not to worry about things out of their control, to play tough defense in the game, set screens and play for each other.

Senior Taryn Howard tied Kelley with a game high 13 points. Howard managed just one bucket each in the first two quarters before putting more points on the board in the final two quarters. She was a perfect 5 of 5 at the free throw line.

The team went 7 of 11 at the charity stripe in the fourth quarter, which came from being able to draw fouls and players like Howard and fellow senior Bren Cable getting the and one, which Owen said was a product of cutting hard and finishing hard.

“We work on finishing everyday at the basket going up strong and they did just that,” he said. “Hard work in practice always pays off in games.”

McAlester had 16 turnovers in the game.

The Lady Buffs will practice on Wednesday and Thursday before Friday’s game at the Brumley Gymnasium against Class 4A No. 7 Broken Bow and senior Aspen Williston.

“We’re going to pressure up a little bit more in that game, make it harder to get her the ball, and it’s always good to have a win when you go into a big game like that, always brings confidence to the next game,” Owen said.

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