By Dave Ruthenberg
NEOSHO, Mo. – The 10th-ranked NOC Enid Lady Jets overcame a sluggish first-half en route to a 77-67 victory at Crowder (Mo.) Saturday.
Led by Ashlyn Briegge’s 20 points and Justice Payne’s 17 points, NOC Enid put up 55 second-half points to offset a cold-shooting first half that saw them trailing Crowder 26-22 at intermission.
“The four-hour bus ride didn’t help us,” said NOC Enid head coach Scott Morris. “We just didn’t have much energy and needed a wake-up call.”
The Lady Jets were able to keep within striking distance at halftime thanks to Crowder shooting only 1-of-16 from the three-point line in the first half.
The Lady Jets came out hot in the second half and unlike Crowder, were able to hit the long-range jumper, going 9-of-16 from beyond the three-point arc Saturday.
“We dodged a bullet,” Morris said. “We got into our game in the second half, played more assertive and had some fun.”
The win raises the Lady Jets’ record to 8-1 this season, heading into a stretch of three games over a five-day period starting Monday when they return home to face Rhema Bible for a 5:30 p.m. tipoff at Mabee Center.
Following their Monday home clash with Rhema, the Lady Jets hit the road Thursday and Friday for back-to-back games against Cowley (Kan.) and South-western (Kan.).
NOC Enid already owns a win over Cowley, having defeated Cowley 74-58 at Mabee Center Nov. 16, but Morris expects a tough contest at their place Thursday and
“It’s going to a tough game; they’re going to want some revenge at home,” Morris said, while acknowledging teams usually have a little extra-incentive when playing the nationally ranked Lady Jets, who made the Final Four last season.
“We have a target on our back, but that’s what you want,” Morris said. “You want to be part of a progam that has a solid reputation.”
(M) NOC Enid 110,
SW Christian JV 74
NOC Enid men raised their record to 8-3 with a 110-74 victory over Southwestern Christian JV Saturday at Mabee Center in the Jets’ final home game before the holiday break.
It was the second time this season the Jets soundly defeated the Eagles, having previously defeated South-western Christian JV 88-60 in Bethany on Nov. 17.
The Jets led 56-26 at halftime and never were seriously threatened in the contest.
“We came in with good energy in the first half and got out to a nice, early lead,” said Jets’ assistant coach Ryan Mahoney.
“We were able to play a lot of people in the second half to keep everybody healthy.”
NOC Enid was led in scoring by freshman Kyndall Dudley’s 27 points, including six three-pointers, and leading scorer Xavier McClish’s 21 point effort.
Mahoney said it was good to see Dudley snap out of a shooting slump.
“When we recruited him, we knew he was a shooter,” Mahoney said.
“He was in a funk, but hopefully he’s out of it now.”
The Jets travel to Cowley (Kan.) Thursday for their final game before beginning a three-week holiday break to face a team that downed NOC Enid earlier this season, 78-69 in overtime.
“They’re (Cowley) very aggressive,” Mahoney said. “They play hard in the middle and like to get lay-ups. We are going to have to guard the middle and play good defense.”
NOC ENID 110, SW CHRISTIAN JV 74
SWC 26 48 – 74
NOC ENID 56 54 – 110
SW: Austin 18, Taylor 16, Jordan 8, Evans 8, Deonte 8, Jarrod 6, Garrett 5, Josh 3, Keegan 2
NOC: Dudley 27, McClish 21, Espinoza 16, Cohee 11, Carbajal 10, Farmer 10, Qualls 8, Brooks 6, Reddick 2
NOC ENID 77, CROWDER (Mo.) 67
NOC ENID 22 55 – 77
CROWDER 26 41 – 67
Crowder: Hunter 19, Marshall 17, Sadler 8, Amos 6, Sagely 5, Ritter 5, de Souza 4, Murphy 3
NOC: Briegge 20, Payne 17, Bates 14, Wallace 8, Bledsoe 8, Johnson 4, Lang 4, Bellamy 2