ADAIR – Whether it was the will of Lexy Borgstadt, the quick hands and length of Jordan Chancellor or the versatility of Morgan Borgstadt, the Lady Cardinals’ best and brightest shined in big ways Friday night.
The “Big Three” combined for 44 points, 15 rebounds and 14 steals in leading Class 4A No. 6 Verdigris to an emphatic 53-32 victory over Class 3A No. 4 Adair at the Adair Event Center.
Chancellor led all scorers with 17 points alongside five rebounds and six steals, and Morgan Borgstadt added 15 points, three rebounds and four steals while her older sister Lexy managed 12 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
In all, the Lady Cardinals forced 30 turnovers while surrendering only seven themselves.
“That’s very impressive against an Adair team that’s extremely fundamental,” Verdigris coach Mike Buntin said. “We know it’s not the Adair teams of old, but they are one of the most well-coached teams and extremely fundamental with the basketball. Any time you can force those types of turnovers, it’s an impressive feat.”
That success all started with the Lady Cardinals’ intense ball pressure in the backcourt.
The likes of Morgan Borgstadt, Emily Stout and Maddy Daniels created issues for Adair guards early in possessions, which allowed Chancellor to find the passing lanes, utilizing her anticipations skills and uncanny ability to read the floor to record effortless steals and easy points.
Chancellor’s balance on both sides of the ball made her a threat not even one of the best teams in Class 3A could stop.
“I feel like working hard on the defensive end is going to lead to momentum on the offensive end,” said the 5-foot-9 senior guard, who hit three of the six Verdigris 3-pointers. “Really just getting out and pushing yourself as hard as you can and pressuring the ball is going to lead to steals, which turns into offensive points, which turns into good things on the other end. It all starts defensively, and that allows everybody to be balanced.
“I came out here expecting a few (turnovers), but I didn’t think we’d have as many as we did. It really just showed how much ball pressure we really had and how much it really affects the game.”
Verdigris fell behind 5-0 in the opening moments but thanks to the scoring efforts of Chancellor and the Borgstadts, it rallied quickly with a 13-2 run to end the quarter.
The trio wound up scoring the team’s first 18 points, and the Lady Warriors never got closer than five points again. Jamie Moore paced Adair with an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double while Atleigh Branham contributed 12 points and five rebounds.
“With the leadership we have and the returning players, we expect that,” Buntin said. “Nothing should rattle us. The girls have played a lot of bigtime basketball, so we expect that no matter what people do or how big their runs are, they should be able to continue to find ways to get back in games and fight to overcome moments like that.”
Lexy Borgstadt was the standout of the breakaway run, notching six points and five rebounds during that stretch alone after her sister Morgan scored the Lady Cardinals’ first basket.
Most of the Borgstadts’ points came in the paint, but they also added a 3-pointer apiece to the mix for good measure.
“We’re supposed to come out and jump on them early and get that head start, but we kind of had a letdown,” Lexy Borgstadt said of the sluggish start. “I knew if we just kept letting it go it wasn’t going to change the game, so I needed to step up and make some plays.”
Although enforcing her will early sparked Verdigris to a 21-point win, the 5-foot-9 senior forward exited the locker room with tears in her eyes.
She wanted to do more, and in her mind, she could’ve done more.
“We did good and all, but I just feel like I need to do better,” Lexy Borgstadt said. “I just kind of hold myself higher, and I didn’t feel like I did the best I could.”
If that performance was only sub-par by her standards, other teams in Class 4A might have reason to worry if and when she reaches her true potential.
Editor's note: The unranked Verdigris boys upset Class 3A No. 3 Adair 67-58 in overtime in the nightcap. Come back later this weekend for the story from that exciting game.
VERDIGRIS 53, ADAIR 32
VERDIGRIS – Jordan Chancellor 17, Morgan Borgstadt 15, Lexy Borgstadt 12, Stout 3, Blackwell 2, Cravens 2, Daniels 2.
ADAIR – Atleigh Branham 12, Jamie Moore 11, Winfield 4, Brewer 3, Long 2.
3-point goals: Verdigris – Chancellor 3, M. Borgstadt 1, L. Borgstadt 1, Stout 1. Adair – Moore 1, Brewer 1.
Free throws: Verdigris 7-10. Adair 8-15.
Rebounds: Verdigris – L. Borgstadt 7, Blackwell 5, Chancellor 5, M. Borgstadt 3, Team 3, Daniels 2, Daniel 1. TOTAL 26. Adair – Moore 11, Winfield 6, Branham 5, Brewer 4, Team 4, Long 2, Russell 2, Mooney 1. TOTAL 35.
Turnovers: Verdigris 7. Adair 30.