Lady Tigers pull out close win
The Verden High School girls basketball team barely beat Ninnekah on Tuesday night at Ninnekah High School.
The Tigers beat the Lady Owls 42-38, with both teams having their highest scoring quarter in the fourth.
Verden head coach Ryan Perry said he expected a tough game going into Ninnekah.
"This is always a tough game," Perry said. "It's a rivalry game, and it's going to be tough."
Leading scorers on both sides were on the bench for the last few minutes of the game.
Katie Embry, who led Verden with 19 points and 13 rebounds, fouled out with 2:55 left in the game, getting called for a reach-in foul after missing a layup.
Verden's second-leading scorer, Cheyenne Hannah, had 13 points and 11 rebounds, and she fouled out with 1:36 left. Ninnekah's Cheyenne Morris had 10 points and 11 rebounds, and fouled out with 1:59 left.
"It wasn't the situation we had hoped for going down the stretch, but the girls persevered and played through it, and played like champions," Perry said of losing his two key players late.
Ninnekah was down 25-22 going into the fourth quarter. Verden tried to slow the game down, taking its time in the half-court offense, but the Lady Owls stayed aggressive on defense and forced some turnovers by getting in passing lanes.
With six minutes left to play, Morris hit a pull-up 3-point shot to tie the game at 27. Over the next few minutes, Verden put was able to extend its lead to six, but Ninnekah made a last run.
The Lady Owls pulled within one point, 39-38, with a layup by Rayna Dinsmore, but those would be their last points.
With the score 41-38 after some Verden free throws, Ninnekah missed two 3's with fewer than 15 seconds left, and was forced to intentionally foul. Verden made one free throw to seal the game.
Both teams scored a majority of their points in the paint, but Verden's duo of post players, Embry and Hannah, led the team to the win.
"It's got to carry us," Perry said of the Tigers' inside game. "If you've watched a team of mine play in the last four years, that's an emphasis."
The Verden girls will host Fort Cobb at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Ninnekah's next game is scheduled at Cyril at 6:30 p.m. Friday.