Oklahoma Class A girls basketball: Roundup of quarterfinal state tournament games
Vici 57, Crowder 30
Morgan Johnson received the ball at the left-wing and fired the 3-pointer.
As the ball fell through the cylinder, the senior from Vici gave an emphatic yell and a series of fist pumps.
Johnson was fired up and the energy she displayed was an epitome of Vici’s intensity on Wednesday night. Vici’s high-energy performance led to a 57-30 win over Crowder at the State Fair Arena. Vici catapulted themselves out the gate and went on a 15-5 run in the first quarter. It never gave the lead back.
“With this group of seniors, that’s just been their mantra since they were 6th graders,” Vici coach Casey Jones said of Vici’s high-energy. “They just get after it. I can use those three guards to put some pressure on people and my back-two are smart enough to go get a loose ball and they did really well tonight.”
Offensively, it was a balanced attack for Vici. Four of its five starters scored in double figures as point guard Jade Hazelbaker routinely found her teammates in good positions. She finished with six assists on the night. Johnson led the team in scoring with 18 points after knocking down four 3-pointers and Jadyn Watkins finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
“Just outstanding,” Jones said. “We take turns, different nights, different kids. Morgan usually hits 3's and Jade [Hazelbaker] pushes the ball and gets everybody involved. She does a superb job finding people.”
Vici will take on Vanoss on Friday at 2 p.m. for the Class A state tournament semifinal.
Vanoss 55, Thomas-Fay-Custer 30
Emrie Ellis watched as the Thomas-Fay-Custer forward dribbled around her teammate.
The Terrier cut her way between Ellis and the rim but the Arkansas signee didn’t let the bad position stop her from making a play. Standing behind the Thomas forward, Ellis swatted the ball out of bounds.
Thomas didn’t score its first bucket until there were four minutes and 50 seconds remaining in the first quarter and it was largely due to the defense the 6-foot-2 Ellis and Vanoss played.
Vanoss cruised past Thomas 55-30 at the State Fair Arena on Wednesday night. The teams were stuck in a close battle after the first half and Vanoss relied on its defense until it made adjustments and rallied to a 21-point third quarter to finally pull away.
Vanoss coach Jon Hurt wasn’t worried about the way his team was playing on offense. The Wolves put together one of the highest-scoring seasons, so it was only a matter of time before Vanoss found its rhythm.
“I told the kids at halftime, ‘Keep playing, keep doing the same things we’re doing, defense is great, keep getting those same looks, we’ll make a few shots and it’ll look like we’re playing a lot better,’” Hurt said.
Ellis led Vanoss with 13 points and two blocks. Lizzy Simpson followed her with 13 points of her own and East Central signee Emily Wilson scored 9.
With the win, the Wolves remain a perfect 25-0 on the season as they advance to the state semifinals where they'll play Vici.
Seiling 55, Cheyenne 36
Braci Nyberg fronted the Cheyenne guard who had just caught the inbound pass.
As the guard made her way to mid-court, Seiling’s Kenly Gore flashed to help Nyberg. When the Cheyenne guard passed the ball off to her forward, the forward was met by Isabella Hammons in the half-court corner. Hammons held the Cheyenne forward there until the 5-second violation.
Seiling’s smothering defense led to its 55-36 win over Cheyenne on Wednesday in the quarterfinal round of the state tournament at the State Fair Arena. Seiling led the entire game thanks to its unforgiving defense. The Wildcats held the Bears to just 35.1 percent shooting from the field.
Cheyenne’s Abbie Barton was the only Bear in double-figure scoring on Wednesday afternoon with 11 points.
“That’s kind of what we lived on all year,” Seiling coach Brady Hamar said of his Seiling’s defense. “We’ve got a quick group of guards, kind of a mixture of younger and older girls and that’s really what they’ve been playing their whole careers and so we kind of depend on that.
"I thought early in the game we got enough steals to get a few layups but it kind of got us going and then we hit some 3’s and it just kind of changed the game.”
Seiling capped its defensive performance with impressive outside shooting. The Wildcats made eight 3-pointers which helped seal its big win. Nyberg and Gore led all scorers with 13 points each.
Hydro-Eakly 52, Garber 43
Hydro-Eakly coach Jeremy Tharp knows the importance of being tested during the state tournament.
His team is the defending state champions, so the Bobcats have a target on their back. Every team wants to be able to claim that they knocked off the defending champs. So far, no one has been able to say that during the playoffs.
Second-ranked Hydro-Eakly topped No. 6 Garber 52-43 on Wednesday afternoon at State Fair Arena. The Bobcats got off to an 11-0 start before the teams mainly traded baskets for the remainder of the game.
"If you have a chance to get out there and off to a quick start, get some of those nerves out of the way, it's definitely a plus," Tharp said.
Garber took a few possessions to figure out the Hydro-Eakly press, which is a reason for the early deficit.
Garber's Ashlan Light led all scorers with 17 points, though she only scored two in the first quarter. Rees Berkey and Macey Buss each scored 14 points for Hydro-Eakly (24-3).
With the win, the Bobcats move to 20-2 all-time in the state tournament. Hydro-Eakly will face Seiling in the semifinals at 4 p.m. Friday at State Fair Arena.
Cameron Jourdan joined The Oklahoman in March 2019 to cover high school sports. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in May 2018. He had an internship with The Oklahoman and Stillwater News Press. During his time at OSU, Cameron served in a... Read more ›
James D. Jackson joined The Oklahoman in January 2020 to cover high school sports. He a University of Central Oklahoma graduate. During his time at UCO, James served as a sports reporter and Editor-in-Chief of the student newspaper, The Vista.... Read more ›