The GHS Lady Ridgerunner basketball team (6-4) opened play in the NEO Tournament Girls Gold round robin bracket Thursday night with a 58-47 win over the Guthrie Lady Jays (3-11).
The Lady Red had a powerful one-two offensive punch with junior Logan Cook scoring 21 points, including five treys, and senior Margaret Pogue dominating the paint with 13 points. The teammates pulled in six rebounds apiece on the evening to lead that category as well.
The Guthrie contest marked the second consecutive game that Cook had landed at least five three point shots. The guard scored 17 points in the Grove win over Wagoner last week.
“She’s got some confidence now and when she gets the ball and has a look then she’ll shoot it,” said Lady Ridgerunner Head Coach Richard Bassett. “The last two games she’s been really shooting the ball well.”
Grove cruised to a 41-25 halftime lead as Cook posted 17 and teammate Stacia Sarwinski put up eight in the first sixteen minutes.
“We really ran our offense and got their defense out of position so that we could get good open looks,” Bassett said about the first half performance. “We weren’t trying to shoot it off the first pass; we were just being methodical with our offense.”
The second half saw the Lady Red offense cool off and with 5:01 left in the game the Lady Jays had pulled to within five, 49-44.
From there Grove went on a 5-0 run and a late trey from junior Peri Lane, along with some precise free throw shooting from Kenzie Miller- who went 5 of 6 at the line on the night- put the Lady Ridgerunners up by 12 to seal the win.
“We got away from what we were supposed to be doing,” Bassett said of the second half. “Instead of running the offense through once or twice we thought we could make one pass and the person would catch it and shoot it. We weren’t working their defense so we could get better passes and better shots. We didn’t work our offense as well in the second half.”
From here the Grove squad will face the Roland Lady Rangers in a re-match of the Championship Game from the Tahlequah Tournament earlier this season. Roland (11-3, 4A #9) won that game 57-44.
“We’re ready,” Bassett said of the pending date with the Lady Rangers. “We didn’t think we played that well against them in the first half at Tahlequah. Don’t get me wrong, Roland is a good team. They’re ranked number nine right now in 4A. They’ve got some outstanding players. We feel like if we can put four quarters together then we can give them all they want.”
The Grove-Roland game is scheduled for 1PM today (Friday) at the NEO Field House.
The Lady Ridgerunners had been anticipating the Guthrie game as a means to see how the team stacked up to 5A competition.
“We’re probably going to be there next year (5A),” said Bassett. “(5A players) are a little bigger and more physical but I think our kids can play at that level. Our kids are getting better and they understand the game. We’ve got a long way to go but I think we can compete.”