VERDIGRIS — The Lady Cardinals celebrated Senior Night by scoring the first seven points of the first half and the first six of the second half en route to a 50-36 win over visiting Inola Friday night.
In the final warm-up for the districts, both teams looked to hone their skills in a game of evenly-matched squads.
Verdigris (17-6) used that early spurt to take a 16-10 lead into the second quarter, and then used a stifling defense to force turnovers and hold the Lady Longhorns to just 10 points in the second and third quarters combined. During that time, the Lady Cardinals were threatening to blow things out with a 34-20 lead to start the fourth.
But with the help of Kelsie Roberts, Rylee Bynum and Marley Jo Eaves in the fourth quarter, the Horns cut into the Verdigris lead to make it a nine-point deficit with 4:40 to play.
Inola then made it an eight-point game with 2:21 to play and had a chance to cut it to five, but a turnover and more Verdigris points ended the rally.
Verdigris clinched it late at the free throw line, hitting 11 of 27 from the stripe in the final frame.
Kyle McGuire led Verdigris with 15 points. Alissa Ryan scored 13.
Leading Inola was Eaves with 11 points. Roberts added 9.
Verdigris will now host Morris in the Class 3A, Area II, District 7 game at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16. Inola (11-11) will also host the Class 4A, Area II, District 2 game against visiting Vinita, also at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
Win or lose, both teams will move on to regionals on Thursday, Feb. 22.