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Lady Warriors finish strong at Lomega

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Okarche limits turnovers, drop shots in 57-44 victory over Lady Raiders

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    KELLI JENNINGS’ Okarche squad knocked off Lomega in an early-season showdown last week. [Photo by Russell Stitt/ ]

It comes down to making shots.

Okarche made them. Lomega mostly missed them.

Okarche won.

The Lady Warriors won this year’s version of one of the state’s best small-school rivalries by handing Lomega a 57-44 defeat on the Lady Raiders’ home court.

“It’s always big to get a win in this game, but to beat them on their home floor makes it a little more special,” said Okarche girls’ coach Kelli Jennings, whose team moved to 2-0.

Lomega led 6-1 halfway through the fi rst quarter and 28-27 at halftime, but managed just three field goals in the second half as Okarche pulled away.

“We were up 6-1 early, but it probably should have been 16-1. We missed too many shots we should make,” Lomega coach Kevin Lewallen said. “There’s a big difference in being up five and maybe being up 10, 12 or 15 in the fi rst quarter. That changes the game.”

Lomega sophomore Hensley Eaton didn’t have the shooting woes, at least early on.

Her 3-pointer gave Lomega that 6-1 lead at the 4:09 mark of the fi rst quarter. She made another trey with 2:09 left in the fi rst half for a 28-21 advantage.

With that shot, Eaton had 11 points, but Okarche was able to close the half with a 6-0 run.

That momentum carried over into the third quarter.

Marlo Hunt’s 3-pointer at 2:17 of that frame gave the Lady Warriors a 37-32 edge. She made another at 6:48 of the fourth to give Okarche its 10-point lead.

The lead swelled to as many as 17 as Okarche’s shots kept dropping and Lomega’s kept missing.

“I really thought we played pretty well,” Lewallen said. “We just didn’t make anything. We never got in a rhythm.”

Jennings agreed.

“We shot the ball better than they did,” she said. “They went cold and we didn’t. That changes games. It’s all about making shots.”

Jennings said Okarche helped prevent a lot of Lomega buckets by handling the Lady Raiders’ press.

“They live off of turnovers and easy buckets and we never let their press fluster us,” she said.

Hunt finished the game with 16 points, including four treys.

Raegan Robinson scored 10 points and Madison Owens scored seven.

“Those two didn’t leave the court until the last 30 seconds and that game was a track meet,” Jennings said in commending her two guards.

Rachel McDowell scored six points in the paint and 10 overall.

“She gave us big buckets inside and then kicked it out when they collapsed on her,” Jennings said.

Freshman Ryen Wittrock scored fi ve and provided the Lady Warriors another inside presence.

“Everyone I talked to was impressed with Ryan, the way she came in, got in position and got some big rebounds for us,” Jennings said.

“It was really a big team effort.”

Lomega (1-1) was led by Eaton’s 13 points.

Shelby Russell scored 12 and Darcy Roberts nine.

Lomega was without Emma Duffy, who will be out until at least January with a torn ACL. The Lady Raiders were also missing freshman Sydni Walker, an expected key contributor expected to return from a knee injury in two weeks.

The Lady Warriors held Adysen Wilson to four points and no fi eld goals, another key factor, Jennings said.

“We knew one of the big keys was communication at all times where #15 (Wilson) was and never giving her an open look,” Jennings said. “We wanted to know at all times where she was and we were very successful in that.”