“To dream the impossible dream,
to fight the unbeatable foe.”
— Man of La Mancha
By Mike Tupa
For more than three quarters on Friday, the Jenks High School Lady Trojans battled to make the impossible dream come true on the basketball court.
Defeat the unbeatable Bartlesville High School Lady Bruins.
Early in the fourth quarter, Jenks led, 45-42, and threatened to deal Bartlesville its first season loss.
But, then the Lady Trojans got pinched.
With 4:13 remaining, Bartlesville bounced into the lead on Jena’ Williams’ three-pointer, 47-45, and never trailed again.
Bartlesville proceeded to claim a 55-47 victory and improve to 21-0 on the season and 12-0 in the Frontier Valley Conference.
Jenks fell to 11-10 and 6-6.
Avery Allen ripped the cords for 19 points to lead the Lady Bruins, followed by Erin Shoemaker with 17 and Trinity Parker with 11.
Williams — who took a seat early in the first half, due to foul trouble — contributed eight points, including two crucial three-pointers.
Makenna Burch pumped in 20 points to lead Jenks; Haley Meely added 14.
In their previous meeting this season, Bartlesville had jumped all over Jenks, 59-44, at Jenks.
The Bruin Fieldhouse hosted the rematch on Friday — and the contest bore no resemblance to the first encounter.
Bartlesville won the tip — but missed a three-pointer to open the action and Jenks’ Emma Wasson grabbed the rebound.
Several seconds later, Wasson buried a two-pointer to put Jenks on the board first.
No problem — the Lady Bruins had trailed early before.
In fact, they snapped into the lead on a try off the fingertips of Shoemaker, 3-2, with about 5:45 remaining in the first quarter.
Williams then stole the ball, drew a foul and flushed both free throws to stretch the Lady Bruin lead to 5-2.
Business as usual — or so it seemed.
But, Jenks simply refused to go away quietly into oblivion.
Tightening its defense, Jenks prevented any more Lady Bruin points for a couple of minutes.
Jenks’ five-foot-three dynamo Meely knocked down a layup — on a drive into traffic and hook shot — to reduce the Bartlesville lead to a point, 5-4; Williams answered on the other end with a trey.
But, Jenks’ Makenna Burch matched Williams’ three-pointer to close the gap back to one point, 8-7.
The teams then traded trips to the free throw line and Bartlesville still clung to the lead, 10-9.
Just prior to the first quarter buzzer, however, Burch buried her second three-pointer, which powered Jenks ahead, 12-10.
Meanwhile, Williams had gone off the floor — after being whistled for her second foul — which put Bartlesville down one starter.
The second quarter started slowly on offense — until Bartlesville caught a gust of momentum.
After the score was tied, 16-16, Bartlesville burst out to a 10-point lead, 27-17, on an 11-1 run fueled by Allen’s trey to start it off. Shoemaker also knocked down a pair of long-distance balls during the spurt and Parker scored an uncontested back-door layup with no one around after got more open in the low post than the Invisible Girl.
By the time the scoring splurge ran out of steam, Bartlesville led by double-digits — 27-17.
Now, the scenario looked familiar.
Jenks still utterly refused to fold.
The Lady Trojans finished the half on an 9-4 run to cut Bartlesville’s lead in half, 31-26.
And, the Lady Trojans went into halftime with a big boost when Meely hit a trey just prior to the buzzer.
Bartlesville began the third quarter with all its starters back on the floor and determined to take control.
But, Jenks hung in there — especially on the defensive end to limit the Lady Bruin scoring.
Bartlesville went scoreless for nearly the first four minutes of the third period, until Shoemaker drained a pair of free throws.
But, Jenks’ failed to take complete advantage of Bartlesville’s drought and still trailed, 33-28.
However, the Lady Trojans then caught fire for the rest of the quarter.
They inched into the lead, 34-33, on Burch’s scoop layup out of the transition.
After Bartlesville went ahead again, Jenks reclaimed the lead on Burch’s three-pointer, 37-35, with about 2:15 left in the third period.
By the period’s end, Jenks widened the gap to four points, 43-39, with Burch hitting a three-pointer with less than 20 seconds remaining.
Parker got Bartlesville off to the right start in the final quarter by dialing in a three-pointer.
Jenks’ Rylie Watson put in a deuce on the other end.
The offenses then sputtered again for a while.
It was Bartlesville that revved up again first.
Williams’ trey with 4:13 left elevated Bartlesville into the lead, 47-45 — and the Lady Bruins never looked back.
Jenks turned the ball back over — on a jump ball — and Allen deposited a backside layup to increase Bartlesville’s lead to two possessions, 49-45.
After Jenks missed a layup on the other end, Bartlesville center Destiny Harris pulled down the rebound and Bartlesville went back on the attack. Parker drew a foul and made both free throws to widen the gap to six points, 51-45.
A 7-0 run just like that.
Now, things were looking familiar.
Bartlesville led by eight, 53-45, with too little time left (:45.4) for Jenks.
Next up, the Lady Bruins play host Tuesday to Broken Arrow, in the next-to-last regular season game.
Bartlesville 55, Jenks 47
Haley Meely 5 3-3 14, Makenna Burch 6 3-4 20, Rylie Watson 1 0-0 2, Tattiana Gilford 0 1-2 1, Emma Wasson 5 0-0 10. Totals: 17 7-9 47.
Erin Shoemaker 5 3-4 17, Trinity Parker 2 6-8 11, Avery Allen 6 5-6 19, Jena’ Williams 2 2-2 8, Destiny Harris 0 0-1 0. Totals: 15 16-21 55.