AMBER — In a battle between teams on opposite ends of a basketball coin, top-seed Rush Springs progressed to the Grady County Tournament girls’ final with a 31-21 win over Alex.
With size in the form of freshman Jordan Brooks, who finished with 10, Rush Springs confidently acquired the points they needed against a Lady Longhorns team that simply could not match up. Perhaps if more shots had fallen for Alex, they could have put up a fight. It simply wasn’t their night, with Jordan Washburn’s pair of three pointers leading the team with six points.
The Lady Redskins just edged the play early, with their size proving difficult for Alex to handle. They were unable to capitalize on their shooting opportunities, and a Tessa Langford three tied the game up 7-7 late in the first. While the Rush Springs mid-range shooting wasn’t effective, they did get a few to fall from close range to take a four point lead out of the opening frame.
A tight, conservative defensive effort by both teams kept the score very low coming out of the first half. The Lady Longhorns were content to sit back, giving up a few mid to close-range jumpers in lieu of leaving Brooks isolated on the low block. Samantha Dennis tried to exploit this, sinking a jumper from the elbow to put Rush up by six. Less than a minute later, Dennis got her fourth foul on an over the back call, and the top seeds only mid-range shooting threat so far had to sit.
Alex clawed back to make the halftime score 16-11, with neither team doing well from the charity stripe despite many opportunities.
A 7-0 run for Rush Springs to start the third essentially sealed the game. It came with five players putting points in, including a pair of threes from Lexi Large and Kaylin Renneker. A three from Kailee Warrior, who ended the night with four points, halted the run, but not before Alex could go down by ten heading out of the third quarter.
The final quarter was not a memorable one. Alex could not hit any of their shots, while Rush Springs were content to run the clock out.