The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

March 9, 2014

Lady Eagles excited to play No. 1 Millwood

ENID, Okla. — Hennessey’s girls welcomed the chance to play No. 1-ranked Millwood (21-3) when the Class 2A state tournament brackets were released Sunday.

The Lady Eagles (20-10) and Lady Falcons (21-3) will play at 2 p.m. Thursday at Westmoore High School, with the winner advancing against the Ketchum-Cordell winner at 7:30 p.m. Friday at State Fair Arena.

Hennessey went through a state tournament-like bracket in winning the losers bracket in the Area I tournament at Southwestern Oklahoma State, eliminating No. 5 Hooker (48-29), No. 2 Fairview (47-45) and defending state champion Northeast Academy (39-35).

“We’re battle-tested,’’ said Hennessey head coach Marty McBride. “We definitely

had the hardest area. We’re used to good competition. I told the girls when you get to area, you’re either really good or really hot. I’m hoping we’re a little bit of both. We put it all together in the end. The girls are playing well, and they’re getting on the same page as us.’’

  Millwood has won 10 straight, including a 41-31 win over Tonkawa in its area finals.

“They’re obviously the big favorite because of their tradition,’’ McBride said. “That’s OK with us. We can go in relaxed and take a shot at them. I told the girls we would have to beat Millwood to win it all anyway. We’ll go for it and see what happens.’’

Other first-round girls 2A games pit Thomas and Tonkawa at 7 and Latta and Preston at 8:30. Those winners play at noon Friday. The championship game is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at the State Fair Arena.

Hennessey is in the state tournament for the first time since 1999.

“It’s going to be quite an experience for the girls,’’ McBride said.

• Alva (25-2) will face No. 4 Verdigris (25-2) at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in the first round of the Class 3A state tournament at Southern Nazarene University.

Verdigris has won six straight, including a 53-40 win over No. 5 Sequoyah Tahlequah in its area finals.

“They are very athletic,’’ said Alva head coach Eric Smith. “They have a very good point guard and a real good halfcourt pressure defense. Hopefully, we can give them a good game.’’

The Ladybugs had a 13-game winning streak snapped by Heritage Hall 55-53 in the area winners bracket finals, but came back to defeat Tishomingo 41-24 in the losers bracket finals.

The Alva-Verdigris winner will play the Spiro-Washington winner at 8 p.m. Friday at SNU. Other first-round games pit Adair and Hugo at 8:30 and Sequoyah Talequah and Heritage Hall at 7. Those winners play at 6:30 Friday.

The championship game is set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the State Fair Arena.

Alva lost to Northeast in last year’s 2A title game.

“I hope that helps us,’’ said Smith about his team’s state tournament experience. “We did not shoot the ball well last night, but our defense and rebounding kept us in the game. I don’t worry about our offense. All our girls can shoot it. We just move on to the next game.’’

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