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Eagles top Okarche in big TRC tilt

January 27, 2019 - 00:00
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Hennessey boys, Okarche girls in driver’s seat after Tuesday victories

Hennessey’s quest for a fourth consecutive Three Rivers Conference regular season championship took a hit last Friday night.

It got a big boost this week.

The Eagles went on the road Tuesday to beat Okarche 59-51 in what is annually a pivotal matchup in determining the champ.

This year was no exception.

Okarche entered the night unbeaten in conference games. Hennessey, meanwhile, was four days removed from being handed a 56-45 home loss by Oklahoma Bible Academy.

“Our intensity against OBA was awful,” said Hennessey coach Brady Page. “That’s the first time in several years we’ve been beaten by someone we shouldn’t get beat by.”

The Eagles, though, got a 19-9 run in a third quarter that proved to be the difference against Okarche.

Bryan Villalobos and Cooper Fuksa hit what Page called “timely” 3-pointers as the Eagles turned a one-point deficit into a nine-point edge.

Zane Hugaboom then hit a big 3-pointer in the fourth to help the Eagles extend their lead after Okarche cut into its deficit.

“I was really proud of our kids,” said Okarche coach Ray West. “They continued to play hard all night. Hennessey’s a good team.”

The Warriors got 22 points from Cris Avila, who made 5 of 9 3-pointers.

Kaleb Harris added 20 points, but no other Warrior had more than four points.

Okarche, ranked eighth in Class A, dropped to 14-5 overall and 3-1 in the conference. It still has a matchup with Cashion, also with one conference loss, looming.

Hennessey is 15-2 overall and 4-1 in the conference. It now owns wins over Cashion and Okarche and, should it win out, will claim the conference title.

The Eagles were led by Hugo Rodriguez, who scored 24 points on 10 of 15 shooting. He also had a game-high nine rebounds.

“It was really good to see him get back on track,” Page said.

Fuksa chipped in 13 points while Villalobos scored eight.

The Eagles dropped from No. 2 to No. 5 in last week’s 2A poll after the loss at OBA.

Although Hennessey was able to hang with Okarche for a quarter, the Lady Eagles couldn’t maintain their momentum.

The result was a 56-20 home win for Okarche Tuesday night in Three Rivers Conference action.

Hennessey was within 14-12 after a quarter, but Okarche responded with a quick 12-0 burst in the second.

That turned into a 21-3 run before the half.

After scoring a dozen in the first quarter, Hennessey managed just eight points the rest of the night.

“I was proud of how our girls came out strong,” said Hennessey coach Haylie Simunek. “But after that we let our mistakes compound.”

The Lady Eagles committed a dozen turnovers in the second quarter alone. They were coming off a 49-40 win against OBA the previous Friday, their first conference win.

The loss dropped them to 6-11 overall and 1-4 in the conference.

They were led by Kassidy Amburn’s six points.

Okarche managed 18 steals while improving to 14-5.

The Lady Warriors, ranked ninth in Class A, are 4-0 in conference.

Rachel McDowell led the team with 12 points.

Kassidy Rother and Raegan Robinson scored eight apiece. Robinson had a game-high six steals.

Six different Lady Warriors scored at least five points.