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Emrie Ellis got Vanoss off to a quick start and then she got help from her friends in a 64-34 win over Kingston in the late game Thursday at the 43rd Annual Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic.
Vanoss, ranked No. 1 in Class 2A, stayed unbeaten at 11-0 on the year, while Kingston — No. 13 in Class 3A — dropped to 2-4.
Vanoss will tangle with Christian Heritage Academy at 8 p.m. Friday night in a semifinal contest, while Kingston faces Canute at 4:30 p.m. in consolation play.
“We played well. We did a lot of things we need to do to win. There are also some things we need to do if we’re going to compete with CHA tomorrow,” said Vanoss head coach Jonathon Hurt.
Ellis scored 11 of her team’s first 13 points to help the Lady Wolves start the game on a 17-5 run. That VHS surge was capped early in the second quarter when freshman Trinity Belcher, all 5-foot, 1-inch of her, grabbed a rebound and threw an outlet pass to Emily Wilson for a layup.
Then, Lizzy Simpson scored inside at the 6:03 mark to give Vanoss its 12-point lead.
Kingston had cut the lead to 19-13 after a 3-pointer by Presley McKnight at the 4:39 mark of the second period. Vanoss answered with a 10-2 surge capped when Alexus Belcher banked in a 3-pointer that put the Lady Wolves in front 30-15.
Vanoss led 33-19 at halftime.
The Lady Wolves started the third quarter on an 11-4 run and after an Emily Wilson drained a 3-pointer, Vanoss led 44-23 at the 3:56 point of the period.
Ellis hit three consecutive jumpers at the halfway point of the final frame to put Vanoss ahead 62-30. She finished with a game-high 23 points on 10-of-15 shooting. The University of Arkansas commit hit a pair of 3-pointers, grabbed six rebounds and blocked six shots.
“Emrie’s a pretty solid player. When she’s focused, she’s not bad,” Hurt said.
Wilson hit 7-of-12 field goals, including two 3-pointers, and scored 17 for Vanoss. She also had eight assists.
Lizzy Simpson went a perfect 6-of-6 from the floor for 12 points to go with a team-best nine rebounds.
Brit Henderson led the way for the Lady Redskins with 11 points and four rebounds. Presley McKnight and Ryan Herdon followed with six points each.
Vanoss finished 28-of-47 (59.6%) from the field compared to a 12-of-47 (25.5%) shooting performance by Kingston.
Hurt said his team will need to be better against the Lady Crusaders.
“CHA has the best guard play we’ll see all year. They have some of the best guard play in any class,” Hurt said. “They’re two best guards are studs. Our guards will have to step up their level of play tomorrow.”
Hydro-Eakly entered the Mid-America Classic undefeated and had coasted by most of its opponents.
The shoe was on the other foot Thursday in a first-round battle with high-powered Sequoyah-Tahlequah.
The Lady Indians held Hydro-Eakly to a single point in the second quarter en route to a 37-15 halftime lead and coasted past the Lady Bobcats 55-47.
Sequoyah-Tahlequah, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, improved to 7-1 on the year, while Hyrdo-Eakly — No. 1 in Class A — dropped to 8-1.
The game wasn’t quite as close as the score might indicate. After Daryl Hooper buried a 3-pointer with 4:19 to play, the Lady Indian led 53-35. Hydro-Eakly ended the game with a 12-2 run.
The Lady Indians used a 9-0 run that ended the first quarter and carried over into the second period to grab a 30-14 lead. Jessica Mackey’s layup on a fast break capped the run for Sequoyah-Tahlequah at the 4:54 mark of the second period.
Sequoyah-Tahlequah then scored the final seven points of the quarter to take a 37-15 lead at halftime.
Smalls Goudeau led a balanced Sequoyah-Tahlequah offense with 16 points to go with seven rebounds. Hooper scored 13 points off the bench for the Lady Indians. Lexy Keys added 10 points, five rebounds and four steals for the winners, who out-rebounded Hydro-Eakly 34-23.
The Lady Bobcats got 18 points from Rachel Barry, who finished 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. Kira Berkey added 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
Sequoyah-Tahlequah plays Jones at 6:30 p.m. Friday in a big semifinal game and Hydro-Eakly and Hartshorne will start Friday’s action at 3 p.m.
It’s not about how Christian Heritage started. It’s how the Lady Crusaders finished.
Christian Heritage outscored Canute 20-2 over the final five minutes of the game and turned a close game into a 66-44 runaway victory Thursday in the first round of the 43rd Berta Frank Teague Mid-America Classic inside East Central University’s Kerr Activities Center.
The Lady Crusaders, ranked No. 2 in Class 3A, improved to 6-1 on the year while Canute — No. 2 in Class A, dropped to 11-2. The Trojanettes had won seven straight games heading into the Mid-America Classic, sponsored by Vision Bank.
CHA senior standout Rylee Langerman, who plans to play college basketball at the University of Arkansas, scored her team’s first nine points. But after scoring on a nice left-handed layup at the 3:55 mark of the first period, she scored just one more point in the first half.
Canute buried six 3-pointers in the first half and took advantage of a cold-shooting Christian Heritage Academy bunch to carry a 29-21 lead into the break.
The Trojanettes led 15-11 after the first period and outscored CHA 14-10 in the second. The Lady Crusaders led 20-18 after a 3-pointer by Myka Parish midway through the period. Canute responded by ending the first half on an 11-1 surge that included consecutive 3-point baskets by Kirstyn Strain (who hit two) and Kylie Savage.
The Lady Crusaders went a cool 2-of-18 (11.1%) from beyond the arc through the first two quarters and were 8-of-30 (26.7%) overall.
CHA outscored Canute 19-7 in the third period to grab a 40-36 advantage heading into the final eight minutes.
Strain, who hit seven 3-point shots and finished with a game-high 23 points, hit a triple with just over five minutes left to make it 46-42.
Christian Heritage Academy then went on its huge game-ending run.
Langerman ended with 22 points, 11 rebounds and four assists and three steals to pace the Lady Crusaders.
Lexi Davis buried four 3-pointers and finished with 19 points for CHA. Grace Littlejim also registered a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Haley Schreck just missed double figures with nine points for Canute.