Okaw Valley girls basketball dove into the postseason on Monday night and launched further into deep water with a win over Meridian, 42-32.
The first couple of quarters, the Timberwolves and Hawks sparred with Okaw a possession better. It was a 6-point edge at the break. Ten Meridian decided not to go gently into that good night. That woke up the Wolves and they went for the kill shot.
Avery Bruns led Okaw Valley to a lead in the first quarter with two scores. Mia Harris scored and Kate Jeffers split a pair at the line. Meridian got just two buckets, one from Emily Johnson and one from Breanna Evans. Okaw was up, 7-4.
The 2nd quarter was just as tame. Harris started to get hot for Okaw. She scored twice and made 1-of-2 free throws for 5 of their 7 points. Bailey Bennett scored.
Meridian got just one bucket from Aleita Hale. Kiarra Giles made two free throws, but Meridian was down by 6 at the half, 14-8.
The plays picked up after the break and Meridian scored 13 points all of a sudden, after only scoring 8 in two periods. Evans made two free throws and then stroked a 3. Hale scored twice and Emma Babbs launched a triple. Giles made a free throw.
Okaw tried to keep up. Jeffers scored twice and Bennett splashed a trey and then made 1-of-2 foul shots. Shyanne Harding scored and Harris got to the line making 1-of-2 to trail in the quarter by two. The Hawks cut the margin down to 4 points heading into the 4th, 25-21.
The Hawks wouldn’t back down, they scored in double digits again in the 4th. Evans hit from downtown and Johnson scored in close. She then drew fouls and got to the line for 6 foul shots. She made 5-of-6. Audrey Jackson also got fouled and made it pay off, 2-for-2 and 11 Hawk points down the stretch.
Okaw was hip to the Hawks run and out-did them in crunch time, 17-11. Harris was unleashed. After scoring 8 points in 3 quarters, she scored 7 in the 4th. She scored 3 times and made 1 foul shot, but missed her last 5.
Bennett scored and then made 1-of-2 foul shots. Jeffers scored and then made both of her foul shots. Bruns finished with 1-of-2 free throws. Harding scored again in the final run.
Okaw had one, almost 3 players in double figures. Harris had a game-high 15 points with 6 buckets and 3-of-10 at the line. Jeffers scored 9 points on 3 buckets and 3-of-4 at the stripe. Bennett scored 9 points on 3 buckets (1-3) and 2-of-4 at the line.
Meridian had one, almost 2 in double figures. Evans had 10 points on 3 buckets, two triples, and 2-of-2 at the line. Johnson had 8 points on 2 scores and 4-of-6 foul shooting.
Okaw Valley made 16 baskets with one 3 for 33 points. Meridian had just 9 scores with 3 treys for 21 points. Meridian was 11-of-18 (65%) at the line and Okaw was 9 of 22 (41%).
Okaw Valley (12-19) heads to deep water on Tuesday night in the regional semi. They will take on regional top seed Central A&M (21-8) at 6 p.m. A&M beat Okaw Valley by 32 points back in November.
Monday Arthur 1A Regional
Okaw Vallet 42, Meridian 32
Okaw stats: Harris 15 (6 FGs, 3/10 FTs), Jeffers 9 (3 FGs, 3/4 FTs), Bennett 9 (2-2s, 1-3 pt FGs, 2/4 FTs), Bruns 5 (2 FGs, 1/3 FTs), Harding 4 (2 FGs). Team FGs 16. 3-Pointers: 1 (Bennett). Team FTs 9-of-22.
Mdian stats: Evans 10 (1-2, 2-3 pt FGs, 2/2 FTs), Johnson 8 (2 FGs, 4/6 FTs), Hale 6 (3 FGs, 0/2 FTs), Giles 3 (3/6 FTs), Babb 3 (FG), A Jackson 2 (2/2 FTs). Team FGs 9. 3-Pointers: 3 (Evans 2, Babb). Team FTs 11-of-18.