It was semifinal Friday at the Jim Walling Classic and four local teams were looking to punch their ticket into Saturday's championship round.
EARLSBORO—It was semifinal Friday at the Jim Walling Classic and four local teams were looking to punch their ticket into Saturday’s championship round.
Those tickets were gobbled up by the Varnum and Stuart hoop squads.
The Earlsboro Lady Wildcats were a missed 3-pointer away from getting in after a furious fourth quarter rally that fell short, 42-40, to the Stuart Lady Hornets.
The Lady Wildcats trailed by as many as 20 points in the third quarter, before Alexxis Coon and Sierra Streeter got red-hot beyond the 3-point line.
Streeter hit her second trey of the fourth quarter to cut the Varnum lead to 38-32 with 3:48 remaining.
Coon hit her third bomb of the second half with 2:17 to get it down to 38-35. Then, freshman Alex Peters made an old fashioned 3-point play, with her and-one getting it down to a single digit, 39-38, with 1:51 left.
Hannah Lena then brought the Lady Wildcats all the way back when she hit two free throws with 1:18 remaining.
Varnum hit two free throws to get the lead back to 42-40 with :46 left, setting up a final chance for Earlsboro.
The Lady Wildcats had two possessions in the final half minute and both ended on missed 3-pointers. The first miss came with :30 left and Coon missed the final shot with :02 left.
Coon finished with 14 points and Lena had 10.
Braelyn Blasengame led Stuart with 14 and Holli Igou netted a dozen.
Earlsboro will meet Liberty Academy for third place, Saturday at 4 p.m.
Varnum 75, Liberty Academy 48 (girls semifinal)
It was a rough go for the Liberty Academy Lady Eagles against the Varnum Lady Whippets.
Liberty did take a 15-12 lead after the first quarter, but Varnum came storming back in the second, outscoring Liberty 25-13 in the quarter and took a 37-28 lead into the locker room.
The Lady Eagles, thanks to Bria Pelate, stayed fairly close to the Lady Whippets through the third quarter. Pelate led all scorers with 28 points.
Varnum took full control in the fourth quarter and ran away with the quarter, 26-11, to earn a trip into the finals.
Riley Fletcher added 11 for Liberty Academy.
Grace Lena led Varnum with 23 points and Morgan Kinsey netted 10.
Asher 58, Macomb 35 (girls consolation)
It took a quarter before the Asher Lady Indians ran away from the Lady Hornets to earn the 23-point win. The two teams played to a 5-5 tie after the first, before Asher took an eight point lead, 26-18, into the half.
Alexis Francis led all scorers with 20 points for the Lady Indians and Victoria Frankovich finished with 15. Kat Dixson added eight.
Mariah Carolina and Peyton Howell each scored 10 for the Lady Hornets.
Asher will tangle with Dibble at 1 p.m. today for the consolation title. Macomb will face Gracemont to start the day with a 10 a.m. tip.
Stuart 57, Asher 45 (Boys semifinal)
The Stuart Hornets stung the Indians Friday night on their way to the championship.
Asher led by a point, 12-11, after the first quarter, but Stuart returned the favor to knot the score at 28-28 at the half.
Stuart began to slowly pull away from Asher in the second half, behind the play of Connor Clayton and Anthony Waterdown. Clayton finished the game with 19 points while Waterdown had 14.
Stuart led 39-36 after the third quarter then doubled-up Asher in the fourth, outscoring the Indians 18-9 in the frame.
Patch Hamilton led Asher with 17 points and Mike McDonald chipped in with eight.
Asher will face Earlsboro, Saturday, with a 5:30 pm tip for third place.
Varnum 85, Earlsboro 42 (Boys semifinal)
It was all Varnum in the final game on Friday.
The Whippets jumped on Earlsboro early and often and took a 26-11 lead after one period. Varnum used a balanced scoring attack to earn a trip to the championship. The Whippets had five players score in double figures.
Varnum extended the lead to 48-28 at the half.
The Varnum defense was equally effective, holding Earlsboro to 14 second-half points.
Micah Anderson led all scorers with 19 points for the Wildcats. Dante Hall added eight.
Lance Nutt led the Whippets with 16 and Martell Davis scored 14. Cordell King and Duane Wildcat both netted 11 points and Terrance Madkins tossed in 10.
Macomb 57, Liberty Academy 42 (Boys consolation)
The Hornets, behind a huge effort from Alex Barry, took down the Liberty Academy Eagles. Barry scored 28 points.
The Eagles took a 17-14 first quarter lead before the Hornets turned up the heat in the second quarter. Macomb led 33-24 at the half, after out-scoring Liberty 19-7 in the frame.
Macomb upped the ante to 46-34 after three quarters of play.
Alex Barry was joined by Brett Barry in double-digit scoring for Macomb. Brett Barry scored 11 points and Riley Johnson added eight.
Ben Corley led Liberty Academy with 16 and Sago Miles scored 10.
Macomb will face Dibble at 2:30 p.m. today for the consolation title. The Eagles will look to get a tourney win as they face Gracemont at 11:30 a.m.