Since moving to Verdigris four years ago, Baileigh O’Dell has had many crowning moments in her basketball career.
On Friday, O’Dell wore her Homecoming Queen crown with pride while leading the Lady Cardinals to a 71-29 win over the Inola Lady Longhorns.
O’Dell, fresh off a MVP performance in the Port City Classic, scored a game-high 23 points as Class 3A No. 3 Verdigris stayed perfect in Will Rogers Conference play.
Even though Inola kept it close early in the first quarter — trailing 14-12 — it would be the Lady Cardinals’ night to shine.
O’Dell’s 3-pointer followed up by Caitlyn Hanslovan’s steal and transition layup swung the momentum in favor of Verdigris going into the second quarter.
Both teams played nip-and-tuck until Taylor Beck’s offensive putback pushed the Verdigris lead to 20-14 with 4:30 left in the first half.
Hanslovan’s second trey of the game — an impressive 30-footer from the right elbow off a picture-perfect pass from Beck — extended the lead to 26-17 with 3:12 remaining.
O’Dell continued her solid first-half scoring with a 3-pointer and baseline jumper to send Verdigris into halftime with a 33-22 lead.
O’Dell and Hanslovan combined for 16 points — 8 each — in the first 16 minutes.
Kristen Mootry tallied nine and Lexi Williams added seven to lead Inola’s first-half scoring.
Mootry opened the third quarter with a penetrating layup that cut the deficit to 33-24; but Verdigris immediately answered with back-to-back treys from O’Dell and Hanslovan to increase the margin to 41-24 with 4:10 remaining.
Verdigris converted three treys in the third quarter — two by O’Dell and one by Hanslovan — to outscore Inola, 19-4.
Freshman guard Keara Battenfield joined in the scoring for the Lady Cardinals with 10 points through three quarters. Courtney Risenhoover also had 10 points as Verdigris carried a 52-26 lead into the fourth quarter.
O’Dell’s final trey — a desperation shot over Williams — banked in at the buzzer to close out the third quarter.
The defensive pursuit, highlighted by the aggressive play of Battenfield and Risenhoover, held Inola to one field goal — Mootry’s layup — in the third quarter.
Battenfield continued her scoring spree with 6:02 remaining in the game — hitting a wide-open 3-pointer to increase the Verdigris lead to 59-27.
Then, with 4:13 left, Beck’s basket in the paint from O’Dell ended the night for the Verdigris starters as the Lady Cardinals led Inola, 63-27.
Along with O’Dell, Battenfield tallied 17 points — 11 in the second half — and Hanslovan finished with 12 on three treys.
Risenhoover also contributed with 12 points.
Mootry led the Lady Longhorns with 11 points, followed by Williams with 10 and Chandler Ford with three.
Carly Rue also had three points for Inola and Courtney Williamson finished with two.
Verdigris returns to action on Tuesday at home against Rogers County rival — the Claremore Sequoyah Eagles.