Since the arrival of head coach Mike Buntin to Verdigris, the Lady Cardinals have thrived on playing suffocating ‘in-your-face’ pressure defense.
Wednesday was no different as the Lady Cardinals rode their full-court press to a 67-42 win over Catoosa in the first round of the Jerry Oquin Tournament.
Behind Courtney Risenhoover’s game-high 15 points and the tenacious defensive pressure of seniors Caitlyn Hanslovan, Baileigh O’Dell and Taylor Beck, the Lady Cardinals (2-0) advanced to the semifinals.
Despite leading 13-10 after the first quarter, the Lady Cardinals picked up the tempo and clung to a 27-14 lead at halftime.
O’Dell and Courtney Risenhoover combined for 15 of the 27 points, while Keara Battenfield also contributed with five in the first half.
Mackenzie Schur buried three treys in the first half for a team-high 10 points to lead Catoosa.
Battenfield’s short-range jumper and wide-open three-pointer opened the third quarter and put Verdigris up 36-16 with 5:57 remaining.
The freshman guard tallied nine of her 14 points in the second half to join Courtney Risenhoover in double-figure scoring.
Hanslovan and O’Dell also got the bulk of their scoring in transition with fast-break layups. Hanslovan finished with 11 points and O’Dell had 10.
Beck’s driving layup extended the Verdigris lead to 40-20 with 3:58 remaining in the third quarter.
Jamie Surine and Cagen Smith tallied 11 points each to spark the Catoosa Lady Indians’ offensive attack. Also, Schur added 10 points while Madison Martin finished with five and Kendra Moon tallied three.