VERDIGRIS - The Class 4A girls basketball showdown between Verdigris and Oologah lived up to the hype Friday night.

The end result saw the sixth-ranked Lady Cardinals prevail on Senior Night 48-46 over the No. 12 Lady Mustangs thanks to a pair of free throws from Grace Waters with 2.5 seconds remaining.

Waters, a freshman, hadn't played at all, but was chosen to shoot after Maddy Daniels was injured after being fouled.

Waters knocked down both shots. Verdigris (15-3) then forced a turnover with a second remaining and got the ball in bounds to run off that final tick.

"I was kind of shocked," Waters admitted about being selected to shoot the free throws. "I just remembered to stay calm and just stick (the shots)."

The Lady Cardinals appeared to be in trouble when Oologah (14-3) went ahead 46-43 on a pair of free throws from Kobi Brader with 18.9 seconds left.

Morgan Borgstadt fouled out at that same time for Verdigris, but fellow senior Ciara Daniel came to the rescue in a big way.

Following some good ball movement, Daniel drained a straight-on 3-pointer to knot things up at 46-46 with eight seconds remaining.

"We have worked on that play in practice," Verdigris coach Mike Buntin said. "We actually worked on it this morning in our walk through, and we executed perfectly."

That set the stage for the Daniels steal, and when she was unable to shoot the free throws, Waters stepped up and played the role of hero.

"(Oologah) has become a rivalry," Buntin said. "Even when one team hasn't been as good, it's always a barn burner and a dog fight. I was proud of our kids. They continue to fight and find a way."

Borgstadt finished with a team-high 16 points. Kailiee Seaba led all scorers with 17 points for the Lady Mustangs.

Alexis Martin had 14 points for Oologah before leaving with a right ankle injury late in the first half. Martin was scheduled to have X-rays on her ankle Friday night.

"I hated to see Alexis get hurt," Buntin said. "She is a heck of a player and a really good kid."


Tyler Willis registered a double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds to fuel the Cardinals (11-7).

Zayden Marshall paced the Mustangs (5-12) with 11 points.

Verdigris held a slim 13-12 lead after the first quarter but extended the margin to 31-23 at the half thanks to a 3-pointer right before the buzzer from Willis.

The Cardinals then opened the second half with eight-consecutive points. Willis had a deuce and a trey, and Brant Teague also hit one from long distance to account for that surge.

Oologah tried to hang tough, but Verdigris was able to push its advantage to 47-35 after three periods. The Cardinals then pulled away steadily in the final stanza.

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