Zac Proctor’s 12-footer from the right wing bounced off the rim at the buzzer, allowing fourth-ranked Verdigris to survive with a 45-44 victory over Inola Tuesday night at Jack Collins Sports Center.
The Cardinals (12-2) fell behind early and struggled to penetrate the Longhorn’s 2-1-2 zone defense, but found just enough wiggle room when it counted. In a game that saw 10 lead changes, Verdigris finally took the lead for keeps when guard Dakota Brasher’s hoop made it 38-37 with 6:13 remaining.
Brasher‘s pair at the foul line increased the Card’s margin to 45-42 at the four-minute mark, but both teams began a series of turnovers and missed opportunities. Ahead by one with 8.6 seconds left, Blake Battenfield missed the first of a one-and-one with Taylor Mootry rebounding for Inola.
The ball came into the hands of Procter who saw his potential game-winner carom off the iron as the game ended.
Battenfield topped Verdigris with 14 points and 13 rebounds. Cade Upshaw pitched in 12 points and Brasher 10 off the bench. Mootry led Inola (8-5) with 10 points.
Inola was eager in the first half, racing to a 17-6 lead as the Cardinals failed to find a solution to the zone defense. Verdigris appeared to be flat until Battenfield switched gears by scoirng 10 second quarter points. The Cardinals finally found enough offensive rebounds to help chip away at their deficit.
Battenfield’s three-ball gave Verdigris its first lead at 20-19 and his two free throws at 20 seconds helped the Cardinals; protect a 25-23 edge at intermission. Battenfield’s layin at 1:22 of the third quarter presented the home team a 34-33 lead going into the final quarter.
Four lead changes later, the Cardinals found a lead they would not give up.
Lady Cards hook ‘Horns
No. 4 Class 3A Verdigris came out hot and pretty much stayed that way in rolling to a 60-41 girls baskerball victory over Inola Tuesday night at Jack Collins Sports Center.
The Lady Cardinals (12-2) shot 53 percent and failed on just two of 11 first-period attempts in recording their Will Rogers Conference victory. For much of the game Verdigris moved the ball into position for quality tries from the floor while limiting the Lady Longhorns to just 1-of-4 shooting in the second quarter.
Shelby Payne was the offensive instigator early for the Cardinals, hitting 6-of-7 in the first half as the home team opened a 31-18 lead. Baleigh O’Dell took care of second half momentum by tossing in 14 of her 21 points. Caitlyn Hanslovan contributed 15 points for the Cardinals.
Inola (8-5) was led by junior Kristen Mootry’s 12 points and had just one flicker of hope in the second half.