Okarche girls earn 2nd straight conference crown, Cashion boys 3rd in a row
The Three Rivers Conference Tournament championship trophies aren’t going anywhere as one repeat and then a three-peat took place in the title games Saturday at Fairview.
The girls’ championship was dominated by Okarche as it thumped Fairview 52-29.
That was followed by a boys title game rematch that saw the Cashion boys prevail over Hennessey, 48-41.
Fairview had no answer for Okarche’s balance and, ultimately, its defense in the girls championship.
A one-point Okarche lead after a quarter turned into a nine-point halftime advantage before the Lady Warriors allowed only six second-half points.
One Fairview player scored in the final 16 minutes whereas Okarche got production from five players during that stretch and nine for the game.
Jalie Rother led the team with 13 points, including 11 during a 13-3 third-quarter run.
Madison Owens added 11 points while Karsyn Vallerand scored seven and Emma Stover six.
“We had different girls step up each game, which was nice to see,” said firstyear head coach Haley Mitchel.
The Lady Warriors advanced to the championship with Friday’s 58-54 win against Watonga.
Okarche fell behind 18-10 in the first quarter, but stormed to a 23-9 run in the second.
The lead was in double digits late in the game before back-to-back 3-pointers by Watonga helped cut it to a one-possession contest.
Stover poured in 18 points while Owens scored 16.
Tyson Endres added nine points.
“It was a real team effort, whether it was Emma and Madison scoring really well the first two days or Jalie doing it on Saturday,” Mitchel said. “Then Sophie Vandendriessche played great defense all weekend and we played great team defense in the finals.”
Okarche moved to 7-2 with its tournament wins.
It was Okarche’s second straight tournament title after defeating Cashion in overtime for last year’s crown in Kingfisher.
This was the first season for Fairview to be a conference tournament member.
Fairview knocked off top-seeded Cashion 32-30 with a last-second shot in the semifinals.
Cashion bounced back to defeat Watonga 53-52 in the third-place game.
After giving up the game winner Friday, the Lady Wildcats had to stave off the same fate Saturday.
However, they got the last-second stop this time to preserve the win as Brook Shelly led the way with 18 points.
Issy Reeves added 15 and Neely Tilley-Bedick eight.
Hennessey’s girls finished sixth.
They defeated Crescent 47-20 in Friday’s consolation semifinals before dropping a 49-39 decision to Thomas in the consolation championship.
If Cashion and Hennessey are playing, it’s almost a given it’s going to be a tight game.
The 2021 conference championship was no exception as Cashion got just enough to win its third consecutive title.
“I think we were able to find some ways to score in the third quarter against their triangle-and-two and other defensive switchups,” Cashion coach John Hardaway said. “But the entire game is just a grind with them; I think our defense really helped us.”
After going 3 of 16 from 3-point range in the first half, Cashion shot just four times beyond the arc in the second.
As a shot 57 percent overall in the second half. That lead to a
17-point “outburst” in the third quarter as their lead grew to five points.
Hennessey never got on track offensively and shot 28 percent overall, including 5 of 21 (23 percent) from long range.
Jael Torres led the team with 18 points, but he was the only Eagle in double figures.
Cashion got 17 points and 10 rebounds from Vance Raney.
Landon LaGasse chipped in 12 points.
Raney also had a teamhigh 13 points in Friday’s 56-35 semifinal victory against Fairview.
The Wildcats also got 10 points each from Trey Tichenor and Jonah Jenkins.
Hennessey beat Watonga 55-50 in the semifinals.
Its loss Saturday was its first of the season as the Eagles dropped to 6-1.
Cashion was 9-1 after its title game win.
Okarche eventually finished sixth after a 47-45 loss to Thomas in the consolation championship.
Logan Kroener scored 18, P.K. Harris 16 and Jospeh Schaefer 12 in a 60-52 win against Oklahoma Bible Academy Friday.
Schaefer was unable to play Saturday after injuring a knee against the Trojans.
Still, Okarche hung tough with Class A’s 17th ranked Terriers and even led in the final minute before dropping to 4-5.
Evan Endres came up with 15 points to lead the team.
Kroener scored 11 and Brayden Stover added 10 more.