By Nick Hampton
VERDIGRIS- The Vian Lady Wolverines did a relatively good job of containing Verdigris point guard Baileigh O Dell.
Although O Dell got 13 quick points against Vian, the No. 10 ranked Lady Wolverines stayed close until a second-half drought cost them as they fell 58-46 in the championship game of the Class 3A Area IV regional Saturday night in Verdigris.
“O Dell is a great player, said Vian coach Jordan Garner. “After she got those 13 first-quarter points, we were able to keep her in check. But she also found the open players and they hurt us.”
After falling behind early, the Lady Wolverines (20-3) chipped away at the lead, tying the game at 19-19 with 5:41 to play in the half. Verdigris (24-2) got the lead back with two straight baskets and held a five point lead, 31-26, at the half.
Vian got the first four points of the third quarter to pull to within one, but Verdigris blew the game open with an 18-3 run that spanned eight-and-a-half minutes and led 49-33 with 6:40 to play in the game.
“Their defense was tremendous the whole game, but during that stretch we really struggled to get good shots,” said Jordan. “Hats off to them, they’re a great ball club.”
O Dell finished with 21 points, but got help from Caitlyn Hansolovan with 16 points and Keara Battenfield with 11 for the No. 4 ranked Lady Cardinals. Vian was led by Nese Walters with 16 points and Jennifer Hunter with 10.
Verdigris 66, Eufaula 53
The No. 4 Cardinals (23-3) got all they wanted from the Ironheads in a game that was closer than the final score might indicate. Eufaula (19-6) scored the first seven points of the game and used the inside power of Daxton Williams, Devon Siers and Gage Durrett to lead for the first 12 minutes until the Cardinals took the lead for good at 20-19 with 3:25 to play in the first half.
“Our guys played tough, but they just had too many weapons,” said Ironheads coach Brad Campbell. “I was proud of all three of our big guys, especially Daxon. He came and played really big tonight.”
For Williams it was one of his best games of the season.
“Our strength is working the inside game and I knew I would need a big game against these guys,” said Williams. “They’re a really good team.”
“Losing Hunter Gott (who fouled out in the third quarter) upset the rhythm of our offense,” said Campbell. “After that they were able to take Siers out of it and we just couldn’t get right on offense.”
The Cardinal attack had five players in double figures with Laef Payne and Tyler Monroe joining Caleb Jones with 13 points while Cade Upshaw and Brewster Peacock both had 12.
For Eufaula, Williams had a team-high 15 points while Siers had 13 and Durrett added 11.