Okaw Valley girls basketball bounced back from an opening night loss, by being better than Meridian on Tuesday, 53-43.

Okaw Valley was held to just 29 points in their first outing of the year. They upped that by almost 50% the next night.

The Timberwolves were better than the Hawks in every quarter, except the 4th. Okaw built a 18-point lead before the 4th and survived a late Meridian push, to still win by double-digits.

Kate Jeffers, who had just 8 points on Monday scored a game-high 17 points on Tuesday. She was one of 3, almost 4, T’Wolves in double figures. Okaw had only one 3-pointer, while the Hawks soared with 6, to no avail.

Jeffers scored 8 times from the floor. Shyanne Harding scored 10 points on 3 buckets and 4-of-4 at the line, while Mia Harris had 10 points on a pair of twos and a trey, plus 3-of-3 foul shooting. Bailey Bennett finished with 9 points going 5-of-8 at the foul line.

Johsnon led Meridian with 16 points, carding 5 buckets, including a trey hat trick. Evans followed with 12 points with 5 buckets (1-3). The compliment of Hawks fluttered around 2 or 3 points.

Okaw posted a 15-10 run to start the game. Five T’Wolves scored in the 1st. Kate Jeffers scored twice. Mia Harris converted a 3-point play. Lehman and Harding and Avery Bruns made solo twos.

Johnson made a 4-point play for Meridian and Hale a 3. Evans scored from the floor and Wilson was 1-of-4 at the line to trail by 5.

In the 2nd, Okaw was 5-points better, again, 12-7. Jeffers scored two more times and was 1-of-2 at the stripe. Bennett scored and made 1-of-2 foul shots. Delaney Johnson scored and Harding made both her free throws.

Johnson made a Hawk 2 and 2-of-3 foul. Giles scored a solo two and Babb split a pair at the line to trail by a dime at the half, 27-17.

Okaw stretched their effort in the 3rd with a 13-5 run, increasing their lead by eight. Jeffers put it in the hole 3 times. Harding scored twice and Harris once. Bennett made 1-of-2 free throws. Meridian got a solo two from Johnson and Jackson. Wilson added a free throw, Okaw led, 40-22.

Meridian started playing in the 4th quarter, while Okaw managed just two baskets, while shooting 11 free throws.

Evans caught fire for Meridian. She scored three times inside the arc, one a 3-point play, and once outside the arc for 9 points. Johnson dialed up two more triples. Hackert got on the board with a trey, the 4th of the quarter. Babb made two free throws.

Meridian was down by 18 before the 4th and scored 21 in the period. Okaw also scored.

Okaw’s 13 points was more than enough. Harris stroked a 3 and Jeffers a two. Bennett shot four free throws and made 3. Harding made both of her foul shots. Harris made both of her foul shots. Bruns made 1-of-2. Okaw was 8-of-11 at the line in crunch time.

Both teams had in excess of 20 turnovers. Okaw shot 56% at the line and Meridian shot 43%. Okaw committed 14 personal fouls. Meridian committed 19.

Okaw Valley (1-1) plays Mattoon on Friday at the Pana Tournament. They play St. Elmo and Christ Our Rock on Saturday.


Okaw Valley 53, Meridian 43

Mdian 10-7-5-21--43

Okaw 15-12-13-13--53

Okaw stats: Jeffers 17 (8 FGs, 1/3 FTs), Harding 10 (3 FGs, 4/4 FTs), Harris 10 (2-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 4/4 FTs), Bennett 9 (2 FGs, 5/8 FTs), Bruns 3 (FG, 1/4 FTs), Johnson 2 (FG, 0/2 FTs), Lehman 2 (FG, 0/1 FTs). Team FGs, 19, 3-Pointer: 1 (Harris). Team FTs 14-of-25 ((56%).

Mdian stats: Johnson 16 ( 2-2s, 3-3 pt FGs, 3/6 FTs), Evans 12 (4-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 1/3 FTs), Hale 3 (FG, 0/2 FTs), Hackert 3 (FG), Babb 3 (3/4 FTs), Giles 2 (FG), A Jackson 2 (FG), Wilson 2 (2/6 FTs). Team FGs 14. 3-Pointers: 6 (Johnson 3, Evans Hale, Hackert). Team FTs 9-of-21 (42.9%).

John Curtis can be reached at john.curtis@shelbyvilledailyunion.com

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