Sports Sunday Correspondent
CHELSEA — Verdigris came away with two high school basketball wins Friday night in Green Dragon country.
The Lady Cardinals went to work early in a 49-23 victory. They remain undefeated after eight games.
After a slow first quarter, the Verdigris boys got back on track and cruised to a 68-28 decision.
Ten players scored for Verdigris, but it was the defense that turned the tide. The Lady Cardinals held Chelsea to two points in each of the first two periods. With a 25-4 halftime advantage, it was a cakewalk to the finish line.
Cassie Clarke led the Lady Cardinals with 12. Tiffany Nelms controlled the pace of the game, scoring only three buckets, but two were of the three point variety.
The Verdigris Cardinals came out flat and slow against the Dragons before exploding.
As the first quarter came to and end, the Cardinals hit a bucket to take the lead 10-9. They would never again be behind. By halftime, the Cardinals had 28 points, just what the Dragons would score all night.
Rotnei Clarke scored 39 for Verdigris, about five over his season average.
Clarke wasn’t getting his usual look from the three-point line. Chelsea defenders made sure of that. But he adjusted. Before leaving the game with 45 seconds left, he had scored scored on an assortment of layups and floaters and free throws, outhustling the Dragons to his greater advantage.
“It was good to win after losing in the Tournament of Champions last week,” the 6-foot junior guard said. “I think we learned a lot about ourselves, and it made us see what we need to do better.”
Adam Hollan cleaned up under the basket with 13 points, ending as the Cardinals’ second-leading scorer.
Verdigris coach Kelly Clarke said: “It is hard to come off a three-game losing streak and get pumped up for a game, but they played better team ball because of it. Nobody wants to peak now, that needs to be mid-season. we have to be confident in each other first.”
Eric Paul topped Chelsea with 12 points.
VERDIGRIS 68, CHELSEA 28
Verdigris 10 18 19 21 —68
Chelsea 9 6 5 8 — 28
Verdigris — Clarke 39, Hollan 13, Brown 5, Sam 4, Parham 3, Smith 2, Schultz 2.
Chelsea — Paul 12, Captain 5, Terry 4, Jordan 3, Rigdon 2, Ellick 2.
VERDIGRIS 49, CHELSEA 23
Verdigris 13 12 14 10 — 49
Chelsea 2 2 11 8 — 23
Verdigris — Clarke 12, M.Heskett 9, Nelms 8, Mitchell 4, Stout 4, Dargel 4, K.Heskett 4, Nichols 2, Bland 1, Schaub 1.
Chelsea — James 6, Shouse 5, Patterson 3, Morrison 3, Kolb 2, Miller 2, DeLozier 2.