Progress Sports Correspondent
BIXBY — The Verdigris Cardinals moved to within one game of a state tournament berth with a 40-24 triumph over Victory Christian on Friday afternoon in Whitey Ford Fieldhouse.
With the win, the Cardinals can reach next week’s state tournament in Oklahoma City with a win over the Adair Warriors on Saturday evening at 8:00p.m. in Bixby. The loser of this area tournament finale, well, will be taking batting practice on Monday.
This game between two of Class 3A’s heavyweights is a rematch of the regional tournament final one week ago won by Adair 58-57.
On Friday, Verdigris built a 10-3 lead over Victory Christian after one and maintained the upper-hand, 20-16 at the half.
Both teams reverted to delay tactics during the third quarter with hope of shortening the game and keeping fuel in the tank for a fourth quarter run.
Only 9-points had been scored when the buzzer sounded. The score entering the final stanza: Verdigris 25, Victory Christian 20.
The Cardinals quickly increased their fourth quarter advantage to 29-24 with just over five-minutes to play. Verdigris did not allow another Conqueror basket of any type.
Jared Whitmire captured game scoring honors with 14-points and was the only player in the contest to reach double figures.
#5 Verdigris 40, Victory Christian 24 (boys)
VICTORY CHRISTIAN 3 13 4 4 =24
VERDIGRIS 10 10 5 15 =40
Victory Christian (10-18) – Luke Loeber 9, LJ Ross 8, Jordan Wood 4, Mason Bowen 2, Caleb Bowen 1.
Verdigris (23-4) – Jared Whitmire 14, Andre Bernier 9, Austin Monroe 9, Jake Culver 6, Brian Phillips 2.