Lady Racers (25-4) end season with 77-58 loss to Anadarko at state
The Newcastle girls’ basketball team lost to Anadarko, 77-58, in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament last Thursday at Mustang High School. The loss brought to an end a spectacular 25-4 season for the Lady Racers, who ended the campaign ranked No. 6 in Class 4A.
“We didn’t play great but Anadarko had a lot to do with that,” Newcastle head coach Brett Sanders said. “I watched 11 games this year that Anadarko played. They did not shoot the ball as well as they did against us. They just came ready to play. They earned the right to win the game against us and they earned the right to win the state tournament.”
If there were anybody that Newcastle could have lost to, it might as well have been to Anadarko, who proceeded to win their next game on Friday over Victory Christian, 46-32, and the title game last Saturday over Muldrow, 54-49, at the State Fair Arena for the championship trophy.
It was Anadarko’s third state
title after also winning it all in 2012
and 2005. The coach of the 2005 team, incidentally, was Sanders.
“They played well at the right time and their coach (Jeff Zinn) did a great job of getting them ready to play,” Sanders said. “They shot the ball their very best in the state tournament. When you have a team that can do that, they will end up on the winning side. We didn’t shoot well and when you put those two things together, the team that shoots well is probably going to win.”
Newcastle was led by Karley Johnson with 18 points. Rylee Kopf had 13 points while senior forward Maddy North had 12 points before fouling out of the game. The Warriors forced the Racers to turn the ball over 10 times in the first half. They took a 10-point lead
Averi Zinn was
Anadarko’s top scorer with a game-high 21 points.
“We had three girls early on who were in foul trouble and they all fouled out in the end,” Sanders said. “The ball just bounced in the other direction and Anadarko earned the right to play the next game and the next game.”
Newcastle only loses seniors North (who averaged 20 points per game) and guard Morgan Bergt for next season. Johnson will return with her 24-points-per-game scoring average. Reagan Fox (15 points per game) will also be returning for Newcastle. Next year should be fun to watch again for Racer fans.
“We will lose starters Morgan Bergt and Maddy North,” Sanders said. “But, we will have a good team coming back next year. Hopefully, we’ll recover from that last
game this year and hopefully
our last game won’t end the
same way next year.”
Sanders was proud of the
job that his team did this season. He noted that all four of the team’s defeats came at the hand of four clubs who were ranked No. 1 in their respective classes at some point of the 2018-19 high school season.
“We lost four games to teams that were ranked No. 1 at some point during the year,” Sanders said. “We lost to Norman, who won the state championship in Class 6A. We lost to Ardmore who ended up at No. 1 in Class 5A before they lost at state. Of course, Elgin was ranked No. 1 in Class 4A at the start of the year. Then, of course, we lost to Anadarko who eventually won the state title in Class 4A.
“Those were our four losses. We beat some good teams like Dale, who was No. 1 in Class 2A. We beat Edmond Santa Fe, who got beat in the Class 6A semi-finals by Norman this year. We had a good schedule and, in our conference, Blanchard made the area tournament as did Tuttle. Washington made the state tournament and Kingfisher did well, too. We certainly had a tough schedule to prepare us for the state tournament. We just didn’t shoot the ball well at the correct time. Hopefully, we can next season.” ›