MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

February 19, 2014

Vian buries Oktaha in rematch

VIAN – What a difference a day makes.

After falling to the Keys Lady Cougars 43-39 on Monday, the Vian Lady Wolverines wanted to get back on the winning track quickly. And that they did, beating the Oktaha Lady Tigers 54-32 in Vian on Tuesday.

It was the Lady Wolverines’ full-court pressure defense that paved the way, forcing 30 turnovers while only committing five, three of which came in the fourth quarter.

“It’s hard to say how much (Monday’s) loss affected the girls tonight,” said Vian coach Jordan Garner. “It took us a while to get started but that’s credit to them. They played hard.”

In the first half, Vian, 18-2 and No. 9 in Class 3A, showed a little lag from the night before as Oktaha (19-5) scored the first five points of the first quarter.

Vian turned up the pressure on defense and responded by going on a 9-0 run for a 9-5 lead with 5:36 left in the quarter and kept the four-point advantage for the remainder of the stanza, leading 19-15 after the first eight minutes.

“We have a game like last night where our shots weren’t falling, we’ve got to step up on defense,” said Vian’s Nese Walters. “Since coach Garner has come here, defense has been what it’s all about. He knows when we get into the playoffs, if we can play tough defense and get some scoring, we’ll be all right.”

The Lady Tigers opened the second quarter with another 5-0 run to re-take the lead at 20-19. That would be all the scoring Oktaha would do for the half as Vian closed out the second quarter with an 8-0 run to take a 27-20 lead into the locker room.

The third quarter is when Vian took over, outscoring Oktaha 18-10 and forcing seven turnovers to stretch its lead 45-30.

“They hit some 3s in the third period that they weren’t hitting early,” said Oktaha coach Chester Pittman. “But we started turning the ball over and moving some people around and just making young mistakes.”

Garner said the pace Vian set had something to do with those mistakes.

“I told them if we keep this pace up we’re going to give up 60 points,” Garner said. “And we’ve only given up 40 points twice this year and were 0-2 when that happens.”

Both those losses were to 3A Keys. Two of Oktaha’s losses have come in two meetings with the Wolverines.

Walters led Vian, recording a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Desiree Moon had 13 points and Erica Casey finished with 11. Kelsey Cantwell was the only Lady Tiger to crack the double-digit plateau, finishing with 12 points.

Garner said that this would probably not be last meeting between the two schools.

“This is a great way to finish (the regular season),” he said. “They’ve won 19 ball games. That’s a great ball club and they’re in our region.”

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