LOCUST GROVE, OK —
Despite a game-high 31 points from Salina senior Cale Backward, Cascia Hall erased a 16-point first-half deficit to trump the 'Cats, 73-67, in first-round action at the Bank of Locust Grove Invitational Thursday.
Mark Cowan added 18 points for the Wildcats (3-4), which opened up a 32-16 lead in the second quarter. The Commandoes cut the lead to 36-29 by halftime and knotted it at 38 with 5:47 to play in the third quarter.
Cascia took its first lead of the game with 3:49 to go in the third. Salina held close until the fourth quarter, when Cascia took a 62-50 lead with 6:53 to play.
Backward scored 11 points in the fourth, including two of his five treys. His fourth 3-pointer, with 2:56 to go, to cut the margin to four (64-60). Two Kyle Johnson free throws sliced the lead to two, but Cascia Hall closed on a 9-5 run to clinch a bid in the semifinals Friday against Verdigris.
Salina falls into the consolation bracket, where it will face Westville at 3 p.m. Friday.
Verdigris rips Ladycats
LOCUST GROVE — Baileigh O'Dell racked up 24 points, seven rebounds and three assists to lead Verdigris to a 75-40 romp of Chouteau in first-round play at the Bank of Locust Grove Invitational Thursday.
Chouteau (1-7) turned the ball over 14 times in the first quarter en route to a 24-6 deficit. The Lady Cardinals, ranked third in Class 3A, seized a 50-18 halftime lead to cruise to an easy win.
Allison Grossman nailed a trio of treys on her way to 13 points to lead the Ladycats. Teammate Karlee Alberty chipped in 11, while Paige Chupp netted six.
Chouteau will face Keys in a consolation semi Friday at 1:40 p.m. The Lady Cougars were forced to forfeit their first-round game against Salina due to a weather-related school closure.
Cascia girls, Verdigris boys, Chouteau boys advance
LOCUST GROVE — In early action Thursday at the Bank of Locust Grove Invitational, Cascia Hall's girls slipped by the Fort Gibson junior varsity, 62-52, behind 18 points from Kennedy Cox.
Cascia will take on host Locust Grove in a semifinal Friday at 4:30 p.m.
The Verdigris boys blasted Westville, 100-43, to advance to the tournament semifinals Friday, where they will face Cascia Hall.
Chouteau's boys advanced to the tournament semifinals by virtue of a Keys forfeit. They will take on the winner of Thursday's Locust Grove-Fort Gibson JV game.