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Huge comeback propels Okarche to regional final

February 17, 2019 - 00:00
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It was a tale of two halves and a battle of attrition.

FortunatelyforOkarche, after winning the second half it won on the attrition front as well.

The eighth-ranked Warriors erased a 17-point second-half deficit to outlast Shattuck 74-64 late Thursday night on the Indians’ home court.

The Class A regional semifinal victory places Okarche in Saturday’s title game against Laverne. Tipoff is 8 p.m. in Shattuck.

“It was definitely a case of survive and advance for us,” said Okarche coach Ray West, whose team moved to 22-5 on the season.

“I’m really proud of our guys for hanging in there and then fighting back the way they did.”

The Warriors shot 14 percent in the first half, including going 0 for 14 from 3-point range, in falling behind 32-17.

Shattuck then scored early in the third period to push its advantage to 17 points.

“We were really positive during halftime,” West said. “We told them that we were out-playing and that our press was killing them. We just couldn’t hit any shots.

“We missed bumps, layups, 3’s…everything. I told them to just relax, make a few shots and I really felt we’d come back and win.”

That was the case.

Okarche quit settling for 3-point attempts in the second half and instead attacked the rim.

“That’s what ended up winning the game for us,” West said.

The Warriors cut their deficit to seven points after the third quarter and eventually took the lead late in the fourth.

All the while, the fouls were piling up for Shattuck as three Indians starters fouled out in regulation.

And when Okarche did shoot from beyond the arc - just five times in the second half - it made four of them.

Those factors helped Okarche take the lead, but free throws almost cost the Warriors as well. The team was 26 of 40 for the game, but missed seven of them in the fourth quarter.

Cris Avila, who was 16 of 21 from the charity stripe, missed three of his final six attempts in regulation.

That gave Shattuck hope late and the Indians cashed in when John Bay banked in a 26-foot shot with three seconds left, tying it up and sending it into overtime.

Once there, it was all Okarche.

“They were in horrible foul trouble, so we felt good,” West said.

Okarche went 10 of 11 from the free throw line in the extra period and built up a double-digit lead.

Avila finished the night with 29 points.

Tucker Neuenschwander scored 11 and had a team-high eight rebounds. Kaleb Harris scored nine. Okarche battled its own foul trouble, but Shattuck was a paltry 16 of 33 from the charity stripe.

West said that and his bench were big differences in the outcome as well.

“Kendon Brown, Evan Endres and Logan Kroener came in and did a really good job for us when we needed them,” he said.

Bay led Shattuck with 18 points. Samuel Long had 16 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out.

Shattuck knocks off

Lady Warriors, 63-54

Okarche struggled to find a way to slow down Shattuck’s combination of Tegan Jones and Jenna Bay. Now the Lady Warriors find themselves on the brink of elimination.

No. 17 Shattuck upset ninth-ranked Okarche 63-54 Thursday night in a Class A regional semifinal in Shattuck.

The loss sent the Lady Warriors to the consolation bracket where they’ll need two wins over the weekend just to advance to area and five straight in order to return to the state tournament.

The first obstacle was Turpin, whom Okarche played Thursday afternoon (after press time) in Shattuck.

Bay and Jones scored 10 of Shattuck’s 13 second-quarter points while the Lady Indians limited Okarche to just eight. That allowed Shattuck to garner a 27-21 halftime lead.

Although Okarche came back to tie in the fourth quarter, it was Shattuck that executed down the stretch.

Bay and Jones scored seven apiece in the fourth quarter and combined to make 10 of 15 free throws. Bay led all scorers with 24 points and Jones scored


While Shattuck went 15 of 23 from the foul line, Okarche was just 7 of 12. That included missing four straight in the fourth quarter when the game was tied or within a single possession. Madison Owens led Okarche with 16 points while Jade Owens scored

10. Raegan Robinson added eight, as did Rachel Mc-Dowell. The loss dropped the Lady Warriors to 21-6.