COLCORD - A pair of top ten rated squads from Verdigris came to Colcord Friday night and, following the pregame coronation of Queen Shelley Swicegood, the packed house was treated to a thrilling comeback rally in the ladies' game and suffered through a runaway in the boys' contest.
But just because the girls' game was thrilling, doesn't mean it was pretty. The game featured a combined 53 turnovers, in which 32 belonged to the Lady Hornets (29 of them occurring in the first three quarters of play). Pretty or not, Friday night's hard-nosed victory was yet another shot across the bow of the Oklahoma 2A girls' basketball hierarchy.
With two buckets each, Kindle Spry and Swicegood did all of the Colcord scoring in the first. Following a 30-second timeout, Verdigris sophomore guard Caitlyn Hanslovan cut the lead in half with a pair of deuces.
The Lady Hornets had the opportunity to put up even bigger offensive numbers, but turned the ball over a dozen times by the quarter's end. The Lady Cardinals had nine miscues of their own, but they were able to tie the game on late baskets by Amy Crone and Camry Collins.
In the second, the visitors took good care of the basketball and ultimately put together the best scoring stanza of the game. Anchored by a pair of three-point shots by another 10th grader, Baileigh O'Dell, five points from Stacia Payne and four more by Crone, the Lady Cards scored 17.
Over the same frame, Colcord committed nine more turnovers. But, thanks to 8 of Spry's game-high 18 points and another Swicegood five they managed to score a baker's dozen.
With Verdigris on top 25-21 to start the second half, the Lady Hornets did an outstanding job on defense and held their guests to 2-of-13 from the floor and 3-of-4 free throws for only seven points int the third quarter. As a result of nine more turnovers and some cold shooting, however, Colcord got only five third quarter points of their own.
Trailing by six with a quarter left to play, the Lady Hornets were able to take better care of the ball on offense. Despite missing their first six shots from the floor, the Colcord defense forced the Lady Cardinals to relinquish the ball seven times in the fourth.
Coming off of the bench, Emily Farris scored a trey and a deuce and Brooklyn Prater put in a pair of buckets to jump start their team's comeback. Over the next six minutes, Colcord went on a 10-5 run that saw them dominate the boards by an 11-5 margin.
With under a minute to play, Spry gave her team back the lead for the first time in over 25 minutes of play. Verdigris used up most of the remaining clock on their next possession and retook the lead with O'Dell's turnaround jumper.
On what might feasibly have been Colcord's final trip down the court, the Lady Cards fouled Jordan Pike with 14 seconds to go. Pike, who had been held scoreless, went to the line to shoot two. The calm junior tied the game on her first attempt and gave the Lady Hornets back the lead with her next. But, the visitors' offense got the ball down court quickly and a quick transition pass found a Lady Cardinal alone underneath the bucket. Her shot at first appeared to be the game winner, but the ball circled the rim perilously and fell away from the basket. The loose ball bounded off of one Lady Hornet and into the waiting arms of another, to secure the 40-39 victory. It was the Lady Hornets' second win over a top-ten opponent in as many weeks after beating Oklahoma Union in the finals of the Afton Tournament.
Verdigris 67, Colcord 18 (boys)
While the Colcord girls' winning streak has now reached six, the Hornet boys continue to struggle. Friday night was no exception, as ninth-rated Verdigris rolled over the home team in a convincing fashion.
In the opening period, the Cardinals shot 3-of-7 from the inside and 2-of-3 from outside the arc to hang 16 on the scoreboard.
Over the same time, the Hornets shot 2-of-8 from the field, scoring only on a bucket each from Colton Buck and Slaten Ford.
The visitors' Chase Bryant and Jordan Kieth, with five and four points, respectively, paced the Cards' dozen second quarter points. Just as in the opening frame, Colcord was held to no offensive boards in the next and were ‘one and done' on virtually every offensive possession.
The Hornets got a three-pointer by Zach Riley and a basket from Jay Vang to go into the intermission trailing 28-9.
The second half fared no better for the home team when Verdigris's Caleb Jones and Bryant teamed up for half of their team's 18 third quarter points. Another four-point period further doomed the Hornets and resulted in a merciful non stop running of the fourth quarter clock.