Victory Christian tops Lady Cards 40-30; Verdigris boys fall 84-42

INOLA — In the first half, it seemed as though the Class 3A 14th-ranked Verdigris Lady Cardinals were never out of it. In the second, they were never really in.

The Victory Christian Lady Conquerors, ranked No. 8 in 4A, used a rigid zone defense, trapping out front while relying on superior size underneath, in pulling away to a 40-30 victory over the Cardinals Monday night in the Jerry Oquin Tournament.

Verdigris (1-2) got most of its scoring off the bench with freshman Lexy Borgstadt and sophomore Raegan Blackwell each managing eight points. But Victory’s frontline of 6-foot-1 Jaxie Wakley. 6-foot Ruth Udoumoh and 5-10 Taylor Sanders closed the vault and prevented the Cards from getting closer than nine points in the second half.

Especially hard to contain was Conqueror scoring ace Gem Summers who poured in 18 points and helped her undefeated team remain in control. Summers drove to score halfway through the first quarter to give VCA an 8-3 lead, but the Cardinals still remained within striking distance.

Verdigris was plagued with 20 turnovers in the game, but trailed by just 15-11 with 3:26 remaining in the first half. Alissa Ryan, a 5-10 junior, drove the lane for a layup in slicing the Cards’ deficit to four, but a trey from Abby Woodward and Summers’ free throw helped give Victory Christian a 10-point lead at halftime.

Ironically, Verdigris won the rebound battle against the massive Conqueror 33-24, but could muster just 11 field goals. VCA broke out to a quick 13-point lead in the third quarter before Blackwell’s hoop pulled the Cardinals within 33-24.

With 4:07 left, Rachel Carlis scored and added a foul shot to put Victory ahead 40-24, erasing any doubt about the outcome.

Coweta boys 84, Verdigris 42 — In the boys game, eighth-ranked 5A Coweta shot 54 percent and outboarded 3A No. 14 Verdigris 49-24 in rolling to an 84-42 victory

Sophomores Brock Fugate and Michael Anderson led the Cardinals with nine points each while three-point ace Gavin Underwood scored 18 for the Tigers. Andrew Keathley, a 6-7 junior, added 15 points and 14 rebounds.

The Cardinals matched Coweta trey for trey in the early going, leading 9-7 on Stephen Meeder’s triple, before the bottom fell out for Verdigris. Underwood drained a three-point shot in giving Coweta a 10-9 lead, igniting 22 straight points that blew the game open at 29-9.

The Cards covered 8:27 without a point until Fugate ended the futility on a three-ball with 3:56 left in the first half.

Verdigris’ shooting touch returned slightly in the second half, but the Cards still finished hitting just 30 percent of their overall attempts. Fielding virtually an all guard lineup, the youthful Cardinals fell to 1-2 as 13 of 14 Tigers scored.

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