The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

March 13, 2014

Millwood ends Lady Eagles season

OKLAHOMA CITY —  Hennessey’s first run to the state tournament since 2000 is over.

The Lady Eagles held top-ranked Millwood to its closest game of the postseason and its lowest point total against a Class 2A team, but couldn’t take advantage of a handful of late opportunities to pull close in a 34-27 loss Thursday at Westmoore High School.

Skylar Holder hit a three early in the fourth to pull Hennessey to within 31-25, but followed with four straight empty trips — three turnovers and a miss — as Millwood couldn’t expand its late lead.

“We ran a couple sets we thought were gonna work, but Millwood is just so athletic,” said Hennessey head coach Marty McBride, who guided the program to its first state bracket in 14 years in his first season with the team. “They get their hands on a lot of passes. It’s kinda hard to run stuff against them. They’re just long and athletic, but we kept coming back at them.”

Millwood’s Raven Prince scored on a backdoor cut to push the Lady Falcons’ lead to 33-25 with 1:45 left in the fourth. Hennessey earned two trips to the free-throw line, but Kinsey Reeves and Holder each split their shots and Hennessey couldn’t add to its total.

The Lady Eagles were the state tournament’s lowest-ranked team, slotted 19th in the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association’s final coaches’ poll, but played Millwood to single digits for the first time in its postseason.

The Lady Falcons had won their previous four by an average of 19.5 points. It was the first time this season Millwood beat a 2A team by fewer than 10, and Hennessey held the tournament favorites to seven points fewer than their next-closest 2A scoring low.

“We were outstanding again (defensively),” said McBride, whose team entered allowing 32 points per game in the postseason. “Not a lot of people can hold them to 34. We talked about having to have them in the 30s to have a shot, and that’s what we did.”

Freshman Addi Meeker led Hennessey with 10 points, all in the first half and two late in the second quarter to keep the Lady Eagles close. She’s one of four starters — joined by Holder, fellow freshman Kinsey Neiderer and leading scorer Kylee Blehm — that will return in 2014-15.

Prince scored a game-high 16 for Millwood (22-4), which advances to face Cordell in tonight’s 7:30 semifinal at State Fair Arena. Cordell beat Ketchum 45-32 in Thursday’s quarterfinal round.

Hennessey (20-10) still has one game on its schedule, though not one it will play in; McBride will reunite with the team on Saturday to watch the 2A girls final live.

“Hopefully they’ll have that burn in their gut to do it next year,” he said.

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