Stover, Endres dominate in Okarche state quarterfinal
Haley Mitchel knew her “bigs” had a good game.
She wasn’t fully aware of just how good.
Emma Stover and Tyson Endres both recorded double-doubles Wednesday as seventh-ranked Okarche knocked off No. 6 Cyril 60-55 in a Class A state quarterfinal at State Fair Arena.
Stover scored 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds while Endres added another 17 points and 11 boards.
The Lady Warriors scored 44 total points in the paint and out-rebounded Cyril 43-26.
“I had no idea, especially on the rebounds,” said Mitchel, whose team is in the state semifinals for a second consecutive year.
The Lady Warriors took on No. 1 and defending state champ Seiling on Friday afternoon (after press time).
Just before tipoff, the scoreboard at the arena malfunctioned, causing a delay to the game and eventually forcing both teams to play without it.
Only the game clocks above the backboards worked and the score was announced over the PA system after each made basket.
The announcer did his share of talking after Endres and Stover shot it as the two combined for 16 field goals.
Endres did a lot of her damage in the first half.
The Lady Warriors fell behind by as many as eight points, but the senior had 13 points and nine boards at the half to not only keep Okarche in it, but surge to a five-point lead.
“I’m so proud of her for stepping up and hitting some big shots in that first half,” Mitchel said, Stover had eight points and nine boards at the break, but also had some major contributions on the defensive end.
Cyril standout Bradi Harman had her way early, but Stover stepped in front of her midway through the second quarter to draw a charge.
It was Harman’s third foul of the game. She returned late in the second quarter and history repeated itself.
Stover again drew an offensive foul, giving Harman four at the break.
The Lady Warriors (245) continued their push into the early moments of the third.
Four different players scored as Okarche pushed its advantage to 40-29 with 4:33 to go in the quarter.
Then Harman heated up…and never really cooled off.
Cyril closed the third quarter 12-2 run to pull within 42-41. Harman had all the points.
She scored seven more in the first half of the fourth and the Lady Pirates were able to tie it up at 50-50.
Jalie Rother answered with a couple of huge plays.
Quiet for much of the night, the senior Okarche guard broke the tie with a 3-pointer with 3:29 left.
After missing the front end of a one-and-one, she hustled to grab the rebound on the floor, leading to an Okarche timeout.
Rother scored out of the timeout to give the Lady Warriors a four-point lead with 2:00 left.
Stover and Endres added buckets and the Lady Warriors pieced together stops on the other end.
Harman finished with 31 points for Cyril, 21 in the second half (and she never fouled out).
Jaydyn Rother added 10 points and seven rebounds for Okarche while Jalie Rother finished with nine.