By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
OKLAHOMA CITY —
Playing in her first game at the Big House, Alva freshman Jaden Hobbs didn’t disappoint.
The Ladybugs’ leading scorer piled up 33 points, and Alva rode a scorching third quarter run to the 2A State title game, racing past Dale 57-47 Friday in the semifinal round at State Fair Arena.
“One of my dreams is playing in the state (title game),” said Hobbs, who averages 16 points. “Now that it’s coming true, I’m speechless. I’m incredibly happy for me, and my team, and my family, and especially my coach.”
“I don’t know, she’s a special player,” said Alva coach Eric Smith.
Hobbs scored eight points in the first quarter, hitting a pair of threes to steady the Ladybugs after an early 12-4 deficit, sparking a 14-2 run that put Alva ahead 18-14 in the second.
Dale’s Jaelin Flewallen answered with consecutive baskets, and the Lady Pirates reclaimed a 21-20 lead entering intermission.
Alva went scoreless for the first 3:17 of the third quarter to fall behind 25-20, but Bailey Forell hit a runner that opened a run of four straight Alva threes, one each from Lora Riley, Morgan Shiever, Hobbs and Forney to put Alva up 34-25 with a 14-0 run in 2:11.
“It looked like we started to believe that we were going to do this,” Smith said. “Maybe we took a little bit of air out of them ... It was a big swing making that run.”
Breck Clark answered with two of her 16 to narrow the margin to 34-27 entering the fourth quarter, but Forell and Hobbs each scored to push the lead to 38-27 early in the frame.
Flewallen converted a three-point play and Clark scored on the next possession to pull Dale within 42-37, but Shiever hit another three, and Hobbs scored a layup, stole a ball at midcourt and finished another layup to give Alva a 49-37 lead with 2:54 left that wasn’t challenged.
Hobbs scored 16 in the fourth including a perfect 8-for-8 from the line as Dale fouled to stop the clock.
“It’s crazy,” said Shiever, who finished with 10 in her first game at the fairgrounds. “I can’t even explain it. This has been my dream since I was a little girl.”
Flewallen finished with 17 to lead Dale (28-2), which ended its season with just its second loss.
Alva (25-4) will play in the state title game for the first time since 2003, when the Ladybugs won the 3A State Championship. They will face top-ranked and top-seed Northeast Academy, which beat Fairview 51-35 .
in the semis on Friday and hasn’t lost in 29 games this season.
“It’s been a special year,” Smith said. “Hopefully we can go shock the world. Northeast is a clear favorite — they’re undefeated, but who knows what’ll happen?”
The game can be seen on FOX Sports Oklahoma Plus (Channel 73)�