WARNER — Warner held off Morris’ main weapon Friday night and advanced to the finals of the Warner Cherokee Classic with a 38-31 victory in a battle of Eagles at the Warner Event Center.

Kaleah Barrett had 20 points and 14 rebounds for Morris, but it wouldn’t be enough.

Warner led 9-2 early behind four different scorers in the first quarter, but a 8-0 run by Morris gave it a 10-9 lead early in the second quarter.  Barrett had six points to that point for Morris. She was particularly impactful on the boards with seven in the first quarter, five on the defensive end.

The lead switched back to Warner on a layup by Harlie Chesser off a break, and Mattie Berry’s layup to cap another break made it 13-9. It was 15-12 at the half.

“We held her to 9 the first time we played them,” said Warner coach Mindi Peters of a 58-23 win in December. “We thought we had prepared for her. She goes hard and she’s hard to stop if you’re not in good position. But we did a good job of blocking out when we had to have rebounds. We’ve got girls who will step up and they were able to battle through when things weren’t going well.”

Warner would never trail from that point, reaching an 11-point advantage late in the third. Berry’s bucket inside off a feed from  Alexis Fowler made it a 31-18 game early in the fourth.

Morris clawed back and had a chance to make it a one-possession game down 34-29, but Fowler’s rebound off a miss and an outlet pass on a break turned into a Chesser layup and a 36-29 lead with two minutes to play.

Fowler, Berry and Chesser led a balanced Warner scoring effort with 8 points each.  

Warner, 10-1 and winners of five consecutive games, will play Keys, a 47-46 winner over Liberty, at 7 p.m. Saturday. Morris (4-6) plays Liberty for third.

“They have a girl (Kylee Eubanks) who attacks just like (Barrett),” Peters said of Keys. “We’ll have to be ready.”

 

Boys:

Eufaula 47, Warner 42 

Slow starts had the Ironheads (4-3) trailing in five of their six games heading into the semifinal Friday against the tournament host.

There, they dug another hole, shooting 2 of 11 from the field in the first quarter and looking at a 14-4 deficit that grew to 20-6 before they climbed back into the contest with an 11-0 run to make it 20-17 at the half. 

Justis James extended it to a 13-0 run with a basket to start the second half, then there was another 9-2 run by the Eagles to lead 29-21. 

In the fourth quarter, Eufaula ran off 13 unanswered points to take command.

“Their defense was trying to keep it on the perimeter and I told the kids at halftime we were settling for shots,” Eufaula coach Jeff Oliver said. “We had to get to the paint, get to the rim, maybe to the free-throw line and change the pace of the game.”

Alex Parish had 17 points, 10 in the fourth quarter on a mix of inside and outside shots to lead the Ironheads. Khelil Deere had 12 and James had 9.

For Warner (4-6), Hayden McElyea had 14 points and Landon Swallow had 12. Zac Lee had eight rebounds, six on the defensive end 

“They started driving in and then started hitting outside shots the fourth quarter, but we’re getting better,” said Warner coach Anthony Porter.

Eufaula plays Morris at 8:30 p.m. Saturday for the championship. Warner takes on Okay for third place.

 

Morris 38, Okay 30

The Mustangs were chilly early and late in falling to 9-2 and into the third-place game.

They were 0-of-12 starting out against the Morris zone before Diezel Davis’ 3 with 25.9 left in the first avoided a full-quarter shutout. They trailed by just 6-3 at that point, and the two teams remained that far apart at the half with the Eagles up 16-13.  

For Okay, Ashton sank a pair of 3s in the second. Okay was 4-of-9 in that quarter after the 1-of-13 first.

It was 28-24 in favor of Morris going to the fourth where again the Mustangs found it difficult offensively, going 2-of-9. Cody Smith’s jumper with 2:35 to play gave Morris its biggest lead, 34-25.

“They made us shoot tough shots and we fell into right into their plan. We forced it.  I thought we played horse at times,” said Okay coach Chad Clark. “They ate up the middle, we did not eat up the middle. They beat us there pretty easy. I hope we learn from it.”

Walters had 12 for Okay. Giorgio Dunn-Spencer had 14 for Morris (9-2).

 

 

Consolations

Eufaula girls defeated Okay  to advance to the fifth-place game, 44-33. Kambry Williams had 13 points and Olivia Howard 10 for Eufaula (5-2). Bailey Walters had 12 for Okay (3-9) and Alex Collins 11. Okay will play for seventh place at 10 a.m. against Colcord.  Eufaula will get Wilburton. No area team is in the boys consolations.

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