Jenks beats Verdigris girls in first round of tourney
Glenn Hibdon Sports Writer
No. 16 Class 6A Jenks used its size and depth to full advantage, easing past the 3A fourth-ranked Verdigris girls 54-40 in the Tournament of Champions Thursday at Mabee Center.
Jenks guard Jessica Washington scored 13 of her 22 points in the second quarter, a segment that proved decisive. The Lady Cardinals (8-2) battled back from a 14-point deficit to trail just 37-30 late in the third period, but Washington and the Trojans regained momentum.
Jenks outrebounded Verdigris 40-24 and got 14 points from its bench compared to just six points for the Cards. Baleigh O’Dell, a 5-foot-5 junior guard, topped the Cardinals with 16 points and sophomore Courtney Risenhoover added 10.
Verdigris led 5-3 when Risenhoover laced a three-point shot 1:47 into the game. However, Washington answered for Jenks with a trey and the Trojans used an 8-0 run to lead 11-5. The Cardinals refused to buckle and scored six straight points to lead 12-11 after one period, thanks to O’Dell’s layup at the 30-second mark.
Led by the defensive play of 6-2 senior Emily Dennis and 5-8 junior Harper Peterson, Jenks used a zone to force Verdigris to shoot from the perimeter and the Cardinals hit 2-of-9 from the field in the second quarter. Meanwhile, Washington heated up by canning 4-of-5 shots from the floor and 5-of-5 from the foul line in bulding an 11-point gap.
Jenks led 31-19 early in the second half prior to another Verdigris rally. O’Dell drove for a layup, then Stacia Payne dropped in another layup with 42 seconds left to make it 37-30, But the Trojans again stepped on the gas to build a 52-33 lead in the final period.
Verdgris plays again on Friday at 1:30 p.m. in the consolation bracket.