Kristen Oliphant and Dani Anderson scored 14 points apiece as Prairie View bested Oak Hill 55-45 Saturday afternoon in the consolation game of the MAIS Class 2A State Tournament. By claiming third place, the Lady Spartans (29-8) advance to the Overall State Tournament at Mississippi College in Clinton, Miss.
Prairie View fell to seven-time defending state champion Leake 78-40 in Friday's semifinal round. Bowling Green went on to upset Leake 55-49 in front of a standing room only crowd at Canton Academy in the championship game.
In Saturday's early game, the Lady Spartans went up 10-8 at the end of the first quarter. With Oliphant connecting for eight points and Erika Guerrero adding five, Prairie View outscored the Lady Raiders 23-14 in the second quarter to build a 33-22 halftime lead.
Oak Hill closed the margin to 40-32 at the end of three and drew as close as four in the fourth quarter.
“At the last, they started fouling us and we missed about four or five free throws, but we kind of regrouped and got (the lead) back up to 10 before it was over,” Prairie View coach Ed Bain said.
Oliphant was 4-of-4 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and Amery Clark came off the bench to force two turnovers to help put the game out of reach.
“We put Amery man-to-man on their point guard and she got us a couple of turnovers,” Bain said. “We hurt them with our press in the first half, but we got into foul trouble in the second half and went to a half-court game. We went back to the press later on, but it wasn't as effective.”
Oliphant and Anderson, who grabbed 12 rebounds, were joined in double figures by Tori Simmons with 11 points and eight rebounds. Erika Guerrero added five points, Jay Hicks four, Kaylah Hobbs three and Sarah Cammarasana and Clark two. Hobbs also blocked three shots.
Sarah Deal was high scorer for the Lady Raiders with 11 points, followed by Meagan Ellis with 10, Anna Ready, Shea Atkins and Sydney Holton with six and Shelby Tyler, Lauren Billington and Rachel Herndon with two.
Atkins had 18 points and Herndon eight in Oak Hill's 55-50 victory over the Lady Spartans in the North State Tournament semifinals on Feb. 15.
“Atkins had 18 points and Herndon really hurt us in the other game with some 3s, but we held both of them to one two-point shot Saturday,” Bain said. “Defensively, we did a real good job on them. They hurt us with some 3-point shots last time, but we held them to two 3-pointers this time.”
Both teams had plenty of opportunities at the free throw line as the Lady Spartans were 18-of-30 (60 percent), while the Lady Raiders shot 16-of-26 (61.5 percent) from the stripe.
Page 2 of 2 - Anderson and Oliphant were both named to the All-Tournament team.
Leake 78, Prairie View 40
Seniors Hannah Peoples, Mary Grace Key and Anna Kat Nowell combined for 55 points and 10 3-pointers as Leake improved to 39-0 in Friday's semifinal contest.
Gaining control early, the Rebelettes bolted out to a 21-7 first quarter lead and held a 39-20 halftime advantage.
Prairie View was charged with 34 turnovers, 20 in the first half.
Leake stretched its lead to 63-34 at the end of the third frame.
Peoples paced Leake offensively with 20 points, including five triples. Key was next with 18 points — 10 in the third quarter. Nowell pitched in 17 on three 3-pointers, Hannah Moore produced nine, Anna Evans six, Katie Webb four and Chloe Thaggard and Victoria Sprayberry two.
Erika Guerrero topped the Lady Spartans' scoring with 10 points — all in the first half — and a pair of 3s. Kaylah Hobbs collected nine points and nine rebounds, Jay Hicks scored all nine of her points in the third quarter, Dani Anderson tallied six and Tori Simmons and Amery Clark two. Kristen Oliphant provided six assists and five steals.