LARRY LARKIN

Progress Correspondent



INOLA — Verdigris sophomore Cassie Clarke added up 30 points and Oologah's Jeff White pumped in 28 as the two Rogers County high school teams dropped Grove Wednesday night at the Inola Jerry Oquin Basketball Tournament.

Both games were originally scheduled Monday in the opening round, but were delayed due to bad weather.

Except for a 2-2 score, the Oologah boys led all the way as they dropped the Ridgerunners, 62-52.

The Verdigris girls held Grove to nine second-half points and won, 51-37, for their third straight win.

Verdigris will play for the girls championship at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The opponent is yet to be decided.

Oologah (1-1) will face Fort Gibson (3-0) at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the boys semifinals.

Boys

White, a 6-2 senior, started the second half with two straight treys and a running four-foot jumper for eight quick Mustang points. Fouled on the latter, he added the bonus point and Oologah, on top to start the third quarter, 33-23, now led by 19.

It was over for the Ridgerunners. Behind 6-6 senior Bobby Hughes, they did pull back to within nine points early in the final period. When Oologah's Cody Payne answered with a pair of layups, all hopes for a comeback ended.

It was Payne who nabbed the opening jump ball and raced in for the Mustangs' first bucket. Grove tied it when Caleb Wheatly connected on two free throws. White's first of four successful treys put the Mustangs back in front and that's where they remained.

Payne finished with 10 points to back White's 28. Ten Mustangs scored, but it was the full-court swarming Oologah defense that kept Grove down.

Hughes led the Ridgerunners with 13 points, getting seven in the fourth quarter. Cory Moote, Tanner Langley and Blake Hartwick each topped out with 10.

Girls

Down by four points at the midway point, the Verdigris girls shifted into a higher gear once the third quarter started.

Clarke got three quick points and Meg Heskett bombed in a three-pointer and regular bucket. The pair then each hit two-point shots in the closing minute. It resulted in a 12-5 third-quarter run and a three-point lead.

The spread stretched to 10 as Clarke hit two regular baskets and Tiffani Nelms added her name with a three-pointer.

Grove's Lauren Iverson finally broke the spell with a basket, but Clarke followed with the Lady Cardinals' final eight points.

Verdigris elected to slow down play after building up a 12-point edge. Kait Heskett, Nelms and Clarke did a superior job keeping the ball away from Lady Ridgerunners during the final three minutes.

Meg Heskett joined Clarke in double figures for the Lady Cardinals. She finished with 10, getting seven key points in the third quarter.

Kali Bassett led Grove with 13 as the Ridgerunner girls fell to 0-3.



OOLOGAH 62, GROVE 52

Boys

Oologah 10 23 14 15 — 62

Grove 6 17 11 18 — 52

Oologah — White 28, Payne 10, Wallis 5, Semoff 5, Walters 4, Barrett 4, Wright 2, Melton 1, Troutt 1.

Grove — Hughes 13, Moote 10, T.Langley 10, Hartwick 10, C.Langley 5, Macomber 2, Wheatly 2.



VERDIGRIS 51, GROVE 37

Girls

Verdigris 12 12 12 15 — 51

Grove 9 19 5 4 — 37

Verdigris — Clarke 30, M.Heskett 10, K.Heskett 6, Nelms 5.

Grove — Bassett 13, Bowen 7, Iverson 6, Maxon 4, Summerfield 3, Creason 2, Jeffries 2.



Thursday games



BOYS



5:30 p.m. — Oologah vs. Fort Gibson

8:30 p.m. — Coweta vs. Siloam Springs, Ark.

GIRLS

4 p.m. — Grove vs. Stilwell

7 p.m. — Oologah vs. Siloam Springs, Ark.