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Lady Buffs hold off Tulsa Memorial in gritty district win

Feb. 2—The Lady Buffs weren't going to be denied.

McAlester hosted Tulsa Memorial Friday at the McAlester Activity Center, where the Lady Buffs used a hot shooting and gritty defense to take a 59-50 win.

The Lady Chargers got on the board first, quickly jumping to a 4-0 lead. McAlester answered with a triple from Madi VanDorpe and a free throw from Katie Allen to tie things up. Tori Kilburn later adding a driving score off a screen, helping propel the Lady Buffs forward.

Memorial answered with a 7-0 run, but that was ended by a four-point swing courtesy of Kilburn on the way to a 13-10 Lady Charger lead after the opening quarter.

Kilburn got McAlester moving to start the second quarter, with Memorial answering with a 5-0 run following a quick timeout. The Lady Buffs responded with hard-earned buckets by Rylee Forehand and VanDorpe to cut back into the deficit.

Allen next exploded for two quick buckets, sparking a back-and-forth in the final minutes of the half. In the final 30 seconds of the half, a triple by VanDorpe and a steal-and-score by Allen swung momentum to the Lady Buffs on the way to a 31-25 lead.

Rylan Lesnau ignited the McAlester offense to start the second half, earning four quick points to extend the lead to double digits. An 11-1 run by the Lady Chargers tied up the game once more, but points from Allen and a swishing trey by VanDorpe at the buzzer put the Lady Buffs up 43-36 heading into the fourth period.

VanDorpe helped lead the charge in the final quarter, assisted by buckets from Allen, Kilburn, and Avrey Alberson as the Lady Buffs sealed away the win.

McAlester was led by VanDorpe with 24 points, followed by Kilburn with 13 points, Allen with 11 points, Alberson with five points, Lesnau with four points, and Forehand with two points.

Next up for McAlester, the Lady Buffs will travel to Tulsa Tuesday to face Will Rogers.