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Lady Warriors ‘defend’ Garber crown

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Dominant 4th quarter helps Okarche defeat Cashion in final

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    Okarche Warriors vs. Garber Wolverines

Defense helped Okarche defend.

The Lady Warriors held teams to an average of less than 28 points a game to win the NextEra Energy Resources Invitational at Garber.

Okarche capped it off Saturday by holding Cash-ion to four fourth-quarter points in a 41-34 victory.

The Lady Warriors have now won the Garber tournament in its only two years of existence.

Cashion maintained a slim lead after each quarter.

Neeley Tilley-Bedick knocked down two 3-pointers and Lauren Lamb another in the second quarter as the Lady Wildcats led 23-21.

It grew by another point in the third, but Cashion managed just one fi eld goal in the final eight minutes.

“Turnovers and poor shot selection really got us in the final four minutes,” said Cashion coach Andrea Taylor. “They got physical and we didn’t respond well.”

Rachel McDowell and Madison Owens scored four points apiece in the fourth.

McDowell’s were fi eld goals and Owens made all of her free throw attempts in the frame.

Sage Griswold also knocked down a 3-pointer while Marlo Hunt went 3 of 4 from the foul line.

McDowell led all scorers with 14 points.

Griswold, Owens and Raegan Robinson scored eight apiece.

Cashion got 10 from Be-dick and nine from Lauren Lamb.

The Lady Wildcats were without returning starter Bella Schenk, who tore an ACL in practice earlier in the week.

The tournament provided the first games this season for Cashion.

The team opened Thursday with a 64-23 victory against Mulhall-Orlando.

It then beat Garber 50-44 in the semifi nals.

Tilley-Bedick scored 17 in that victory, including eight in the first quarter as Cashion got out to a 19-12 lead.

Lamb added 13 and Brook Shelly scored 10 for Cashion.

“We definitely are playing catch-up as far as game experience goes,” said Taylor, who is in her fi rst year as the head coach as well.

“We lost a starter (Schenk) last week, so with this being our fi rst live action, we’re still fi guring it all out.”

Okarche, the tournament’s top seed, began with a 72-28 thumping of Alva JV.

Ripley, ranked 11th in Class A, proved a much tougher foe in the semifi - nals, but Okarche prevailed 31-21.

Only two Ripley players scored.

Okarche built its lead in the middle two quarters by outscoring Ripley 23-7.

Hunt and McDowell scored seven apiece during the stretch while Ryen Wittrock scored all fi ve of her points in the third.

McDowell paced the team with 13 points. Hunt scored nine.

Okarche moved to 9-1 overall. Ranked seventh in Class A, the Lady Warriors have won seven straight.