CATOOSA - It was a battle of ranked Rogers County rivals in the Class 4A area girls basketball playoffs Friday afternoon at the Catoosa Indian Activity Center.
The end result saw the No. 14 Verdigris Cardinals defeat the No. 11 Oologah Mustangs 50-35 in wire-to-wire fashion.
The Cardinals (22-6) play(ed) top-ranked Muldrow or No. 7 Victory Christian in the area consolation final Saturday night at 6:30 in Catoosa. The Mustangs finished 22-6.
Verdigris played solidly all game as a team. Eight total players scored with a team-high 13 points coming from Callie Battenfield. Teammates Megan Turner and Lexy Borgstadt both finished with ten points.
"We had to go deeper on our bench because of some foul trouble and Kylee (McGuire) getting hurt," said Verdigris head coach Mike Buntin. "We can go 11 deep. That what separates them from any team I have had here."
Karly Wadsworth had a game-high 16 points for Oologah, but found the sledding tough.
Battenfield drew the defensive assignment most of the game on Wadsworth and made her earn almost everything.
"Callie had that look in her eye before the game," said Buntin. "We know she is a great defender. She is long and athletic and was aggressive all night."
This was a rematch of a regular season game that saw Oologah prevail 45-43 on February 5. Verdigris missed all 12 of its 3-point field goals in that contest.
The Cardinals, however, took care of that when Alissa Ryan converted a trey to finish off an opening 8-0 run at the 4:50 mark of the first quarter.
"Alissa has been playing well lately," said Buntin. "She has been giving us that inside-outside presence."
Verdigris eventually had leads of 12-7 after the first period, 23-14 at halftime, and 36-26 after three periods.
Battenfield picked up her fourth foul with just a under a minute to play in the third, but the Cardinals responded with the first six points of the final frame.
Battenfield returned to the lineup at the 4:17 mark of the fourth quarter with the score 42-29. The Mustangs go the next point, but Verdigris pulled away steadily thanks to its strong overall team play.
"The kids were hungry tonight," said Buntin. "We were prepared and executed really well. I am really proud of them."