March 4, 2012

Adair girls make it to state

March 4, 2012 Sports Editor Terrell Lester

Adair’s girls are state-bound.

With their second dominant performance in a week, the Adair girls qualified Friday night for their seventh consecutive appearance in the state tournament that opens Thursday in the Oklahoma City area.

They used a suffocating defense to dispatch Morris, 49-34, in the championship game of the Class 3A high school basketball area tournament at the Burdick Center.

Adair coach Scott Winfield said his team executed its game plan to perfection.

His girls held Morris to half its scoring average from the district and regional tournaments that led to the Friday night showdown of Top 10 teams.

And, Adair bottled up Morris’ most prolific scorer, Hailey Robinson, holding her to a harmless 3-pointer 66 seconds from the finish.

Adair’s harassing defense limited Morris to 27 percent shooting — 11-of-40. And that included a 3-for-16 effort from 3-point range.

Sophomore Bailey Stephens drew the assignment of shadowing the senior Robinson.

Averaging in excess of 20 points per start, Robinson missed her first 10 shots before connecting with her team trailing by 16. She then missed her last two attempts.

Adair had no such trouble with its offense. The Warriors hit 17-of-35 shots — 48 percent, including 2-of-6 on treys.

While Winfield was crediting Stephens for her defensive clampdown on Robinson, he also praised the work of his senior guards Holly Pippin and Shanna Harrison.

“They managed the game,” Winfield said. “They set the tempo, and the tempo means a lot. They really did a good job.”

Harrison also set the pace with her scoring. Hitting Adair’s only two 3-pointers, Harrison finished with 13 points. She was 6-of-8 from the field.

Adair’s dismantling of a high-scoring opponent was reminiscent of its last start. In the regional tournament finals at Sperry the previous weekend, Adair crushed Chelsea, 60-28.

In two previous meetings with Chelsea, Adair had to struggle to pull out five-point wins.

That was not the case in the regional finals, and that was not the case in the area championship game.

Adair took control early and for the most part did not look back.

Five players scored in the first period as Adair opened a 10-point lead. The gap widened to 13 before halftime and five players again chipped in with points.

Just as the lead hit 17 in the third period, Morris made a mini-run. The Eagles ran off 10 straight points to enter the fourth quarter down by 34-27.

Harrison put an end to that.

She hit a trey between a pair of deuces and Molly Kerr added a basket and within 3 1/2 minutes, Adair’s advantage was back to 16.

Morris entered the game ranked seventh among Class 3A teams, one notch ahead of Adair.

Morris, 20-7, returned to the Burdick Center Saturday night with a second chance of making the state tournament field.

Eighth-ranked Adair, which had split two playoff games with Morris in the last three years, improved to 20-7.

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