The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

March 1, 2013

Ripley eliminates Mooreland girls

ENID, Okla. — Ripley’s offense found its stride in the third quarter, and No. 15 Mooreland never recovered in Friday’s Class 2A Area losers bracket quarterfinal round, as the Lady Warriors ended Mooreland’s best run in more than a half-decade, 50-38 at the Chisholm Trail Expo Center Coliseum.

Mooreland led sixth-ranked Ripley 16-14 after two quarters when the Lady Warriors hit just five of 23 attempts from the field before intermission. Mooreland shot 6-for-15 from the floor in the first two quarters, and had seven turnovers to Ripley’s one in the process.

Ripley junior Wisper Lefthand scored all eight of the Lady Warriors’ second-quarter points to keep her team in the game, sinking three of four from the field, including two threes.

The rest of the Lady Warriors shot 0-for-7 from the field and 0-for-4 from the free-throw line in the frame, but Mooreland couldn’t widen the gap.

When the third quarter was over, coach Bobby Dawson wished they had.

Ripley hit 7-for-13 in the third, including three threes in the frame. Senior Jaclyn McKnight scored seven points during a 13-0 run as the Lady Warriors outpaced Mooreland 18-4 to take a 32-20 lead into the fourth.

“They play such good defense, and we kind of play the same way,” Dawson said. “They just killed us on the offensive glass. I knew it would be kind of a grind-it-out game because we play similar styles, but they got to us in that third quarter. All the credit goes to them.”

“We hung in there, but we should have kept going,” said Lexi Adams, who started in place of senior Alex Smith, who broke her thumb in practice on Wednesday. “We were just nervous. Had to get a shot in, had to get up.”

Kayla Wilson scored five of her nine points in the fourth, and Adams added four of her 10, but Ripley hit 11 of 13 free throws to keep the Ladycats from narrowing the gap to less than nine.

Naomi Eslinger led Ripley with 15 points, sophomore Kylie Ladd scored 11 of her 13 points in the fourth including eight of eight of her attempts at the line, and Lefthand finished with 13 for Ripley (27-2), which advances to play Pawnee at 1:30 p.m. at the Chisholm Trail Expo Center.

Mooreland’s longest run since a 2006 trip to the area consolation finals finished at 21-5.

“It’s tough when you lose a group — I had six total seniors — and that’s tough, because I’ve had them for four years, and that just makes it that much harder,” Dawson said.

“Hopefully we make it back to area next year,” Adams said. “We’re losing some really good girls, but we have a lot of really good juniors and sophomores left.”

Alva’s girls and boys will go state tournament berths tonight in the winners bracket against Thomas. The girls play at 6:30, the boys at 8.

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