Dale's Hannah Ash scored a game-high 22 points as the No. 1-ranked Lady Pirates advanced to the Class 2A state tournament semifinals with a 37-27 win over Mangum Thursday afternoon.
YUKON ? Dale's Hannah Ash scored a gamehigh 22 points as the No. 1-ranked Lady Pirates advanced to the Class 2A state tournament semifinals with a 37-27 win over Mangum Thursday afternoon." "We held them to 27 points," Dale coach Josh Forsythe said. When we can hold someone close to 30, we have a really good chance to win. We made a few bonehead fouls at the end of the third quarter. I think we'll learn from those. I don't think we'll make those mistakes again." Dale managed to jump out to a 6-2 lead thanks to Ash scoring all six points for the Lady Pirates. Despite the slow start, Forsythe was satisfied with the pace of the game.
"We were trying to figure out how to attack their zone and we wanted to make sure we didn't play too fast and take bad shots early in the game," Forsythe said. "I give Mangum credit. I thought we struggled a little against their defense. We have to do a better job early in the game." Claire Chastain was a force in the paint, disrupting five shots on the game.
"Claire got some huge blocks early, so we thought we were going to continue to do that," Forsythe said. "They
had a hard time scoring over us. If we were to be straight up and not give them easy free throws, we would be alright.”
The pace was slow again in the second quarter. Mikayla Rutland knocked down a clutch trey and went one of two from the free-throw line to give Dale a 12-3 lead. Ash chipped in another four points in the quarter and Dani Manning contributed two to give the Lady Pirates a 16-9 lead heading into the locker room at halftime.
In the opening minutes of the second half, Mangum fought back to trail 18-14, but six straight points from Ash extended the Dale lead once again.
“We did a pretty good job overall,” Forsythe said. “I thought Dani fed Hannah with a few really good passes. I think the team did a good job getting her the ball in the right areas.” With Dale leading 24-17 at the start of the fourth quarter, an and-one by Ash stretched the Lady Pirates’ lead to double digits. Manning finished the game with eight points, six assists and four rebounds. On top of five blocks, Chastain added one point and seven rebounds. Rutland scored 4 points and hauled in 12 rebounds.
Dale will face No. 11 Tushka in the semifinal round of the tournament Friday at Yukon.
Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m at Yukon High School.
Tushka (28-3), ranked 11th, advanced with an opening-round victory over Fairview.
Dale (28-2) is seeking its eighth state title. Tushka has captured four crowns.