Using a balanced scoring attack and taking advantage on the free throw line throughout the night, the Oakdale High School girls basketball team was able to defeat South Carroll, winning 64-52 in Monday’s game.
Senior guard Olivia Spahr used her quick crossover to attack the driving lanes and earn her points at the free throw line where she did most of her scoring, going 13-for-15.
“My teammates did a great job opening up the lane for me by setting screens and it made it easy for me to take it to the rim,” said Spahr, who finished the game with a team-high 17 points. “We’ve worked on free throw shooting a lot since the beginning of the season and I’ve gotten a lot better.”
The Bears went 24-for-27 as a team from the line, making it very difficult for the Cavaliers to get back into the game down the stretch. Up 25-23 at halftime, Oakdale pulled away in the second half, going up by double digits in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve been focusing since the first couple of games of the year on trying to attack the rim,” Oakdale coach Rob Healy said. “We’ve got a lot special players and Olivia did a great job tonight driving. When she’s on the attack like that, it’s very hard for teams to stop her.”
Like it has been able to do all season, the Bears received timely scoring from a variety of players during critical stretches of the game. Senior Taylor McGaughney was Oakdale’s second leading scorer of the night with 13 points and the team’s two freshman, Emma Bowman and Cameron Pitts, combined for 17 points in the second half.
“I started off slow in the first half and I knew that I had to step up for my team” said Bowman, who finished the game with 12 points (11 in the second half). “My team needed me to score and I didn’t give up.”
“There’s always a different person that steps up big for us each game,” Bowman said. “It was Olivia tonight.”
South Carroll dominated in the paint with center Makeba Ndifang, who fought hard down low on her way to a game-high 18 points and nine rebounds. The Cavaliers could not keep up with Oakdale at the free throw line, going only 3-for-9 for the game (a 21-point disparity).
“They’re a good team and I thought it was a great aggressive game,” South Carroll coach Liz Padgett said. “It’s hard to overcome 20 points at the free throw line, but I think we came in here and played a great game against them.”
Oakdale 64, South Carroll 52
South Carroll 15 8 14 15— 52
Oakdale 16 9 18 21— 64
South Carroll (8-5): Makeba Ndifang 18, Nikki Levy 13, KT Tennyson 11, Keriann McTavish 7, Paige Baxter 3
Oakdale (8-5): Olivia Spahr 17, Taylor McGaughey 13, Emma Bowman 12, Cameron Pitts 8, Rachel Walling 4, Kayla Holman 4, Erica Buls 4, Elizabeth Moorman 2