Central Christian College’s women gave head coach David Bryant a proper sendoff here Saturday afternoon, even if it was a little unexpected.
The Lady Tigers entered Saturday 0-13 in the MCAC and had lost their last 11 games on the court, the only interruption a forfeit from Union College.
And they had lost to Saturday’s opponent, Oklahoma Wesleyan, by 22 points in the first meeting.
But for two glorious hours, the Lady Tigers played like world-beaters, sending Bryant off in style with a 72-66 victory.
Bryant, who has been the Lady Tigers’ head coach for five seasons and a coach at Central for the past 10 years, had announced his resignation earlier in the season.
Bryant had a few tears in his eyes after Felicia Stevenson’s magnificent 37-point game and 11 by Kaylee McCullough lifted CCC to the win, as the Lady Tigers closed the year 1-13 in the MCAC and 8-20 overall.
“It’s been a tough, long year,” said Bryant, who had enjoyed a lot of success as head coach until this year. “I told them after the game today was just a lot of fun. They finally reached the potential I knew they had. It’s been a hard season for us and we’ve had a lot of adversity.”
Bryant lost his father during the season and had some health problems of his own. He’s going to take off a year from coaching, but is wanting to resume down the road at the high school level.
“Today was fun, I keep going back to that word,” Bryant said. “My cup is definitely half full. I really hated for us to kind of decline. We won 20, then 21, then 17. We had great kids on those teams. You win with players and we’ve had some great student athletes. I thank Central for giving me a chance to coach. It was a great experience.”
CCC (72) -- Stringer 2 5-8 9; McCullough 3 5-9 11; Holt 0 1-2 1; S. Graves 1 1-2 3; Stevenson 13 7-10 37; Pate 1 0-0 2; Fields 1 2-2 4; Tinius 2 1-2 5. Totals -- 23 22-35 72. 3-pointers -- Stevenson 4.
Oklahoma Wesleyan (66) -- Phillips 1 0-0 2; Haltom 2 5-8 10; Schluter 1 5-7 7; Dixon 5 3-4 17; Dean 5 1-2 14; Minx 1 2-2 5; Lloyd 2 0-0 6; Oleman 2 1-2 5. Totals -- 23 22-35 66. 3-pointers -- Dixon 4, Dean 3, Lloyd 2, Haltom 1, Minx 1.