Dale’s girls have won in seemingly every possible manner this season on their way to a 26-1 record.
After Saturday’s contest with Amber-Pocasset, you can add “defensive struggle” to that list.
The Lady Pirates shut down Am-Po offensively and came up big at the free throw line late in the game to seal a 34-24 win and a Class 2A regional tournament championship.
“It was a real grind it out, defensive battle,” Dale head coach Josh Forsythe said. “Am-Po has a great team, they were well-coached. I thought both teams did a great job contesting and making life difficult on the offensive end.”
The Lady Pirates made just eight field goals and scored more than half of their 34 points (18) from the charity stripe.
Dale went 18-of-23 from the foul line while Amber-Pocasset went just 8-for-16. The 10 free throws turned out to be the final margin.
Dale’s Breck Clark scored nine of her 19 points from the line while also pulling down nine boards. Teammate Danielle Dockrey record seven points, eight rebounds and two steals.
Dale gradually built a 25-15 lead through three quarters and held off the Am-Po rally late in the fourth.
Next up for Dale is an area winners’ bracket final matchup with defending state champion Fairview at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Anadarko.
“It’s going to be real tough,” Forsythe said. “They have a great team. They start three six-footers, so we’ll need to do a good job on the glass.”
A win against Fairview guarantees the Lady Pirates a top-four seed in the state tournament. A loss would not eliminate Dale, but would drop them into a losers’ bracket elimination game. A win there would send the Lady Pirates to state as a fifth or lower seed.
Note: Report compiled by Chuck Porter.