Lady Pirates hammer Hooker in first round

Keven Scrutchins
Shawnee News-Star, USA TODAY NETWORK
Dale's Elaine Witt (5) scores two points against Hooker Thursday in the first round of the Class 2A Girls' State Basketball Tournament at Noble.

NOBLE - Gold rush.

The Dale Lady Pirates moved one step closer to capturing the Class 2A gold ball Thursday with a convincing 46-29 win over the Hooker Lady Bulldogs.

They were set to face Silo in the semifinals Friday afternoon.

The Lady Pirates wasted little time in getting things rolling against Hooker. The pressure defense forced eight first-quarter turnovers and Dale converted those miscues into 10 of the 19 first-quarter points.

“We were quick and aggressive tonight,” said Dale head coach Eric Smith. “Our intensity was really good in the first half.”

Dale hit three first-quarter treys, two of them by Faith Wright, to jump all over Hooker. The Lady Pirates led 19-5 after the first period and increased the advantage to 34-11 at the half. Dale added three more 3-pointers in the second quarter to end any doubt of the game’s final outcome. Wright hit her third trey of the half and Elaine Witt and Emilia Idleman hit the other two treys.

Witt led Dale with 11 first-half points. Wright and Brooklyn Rutland each added nine for the Lady Pirates.

The second half offensive pace for Dale slowed way down and the game got very rough at times. Hooker outscored Dale 13-7 in the third, but it wasn’t nearly enough to make it any kind of a close contest.

The Lady Pirates led 41-24 heading into the fourth.

“We lost a little of our intensity in the second half,” said Smith.

The pace slowed even more in the fourth quarter as Dale used clock when it had possession and stifled Hooker’s offense. The Lady Bulldogs scored just five points in the final frame. Rutland scored five fourth-quarter points for Dale and led all scorers with 16 on the night.

“She (Rutland) is very talented and helped pick us up some tonight,” Smith said.

Rutland was joined in double figures by Witt, who netted 14 for the Lady Pirates. Wright finished with nine and Idleman scored five.

Hollie Stalder led Hooker with 12 points.

Hooker finished the season with a 21-4 record.

The top-ranked Lady Pirates will face the Silo Lady Rebels in the semifinals on Friday. The two teams split the first two meetings of the season. Silo came from behind to stun Dale at home while the Lady Pirates defeated the Lady Rebels in the Kingston Tournament.

Dale enters the semifinals with a 22-3 record.