By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
OKLAHOMA CITY —
Northeast Academy fell two points short of a Class 2A girls state championship last season in the final against Fairview.
They haven’t lost since.
Northeast absorbed an early Alva run and shut down the streaky Ladybugs in the second half to take the 2A throne and complete a 30-0 season with a 53-36 win in Saturday’s state title game at Oklahoma State Fair Arena.
“It’s amazing,” said Lanesia Williams, who scored a game-high 21 points for Northeast. “That’s all I can say about it. It feels great to be a champion.”
Williams scored 12 points on 4-for-5 shooting in the third quarter to lead a 19-8 charge in the frame that put the Lady Vikings up 41-29 entering the fourth. Alva didn’t score until the 3:45 mark in the final quarter, when freshman Jaden Hobbs hit a runner and converted a three-point opportunity on the play.
Northeast outscored Alva 13-4 from there to secure the win.
“My team just really supported me,” Williams said. “We all have faith in each other. We just knew we had to trust each other. Them being behind me, it really helped me a lot to be able to play offensively like that.”
“I knew with the high pick-and-roll, it was going to force them to make a decision,” said Northeast coach Londaryl Perry. “If they put a big girl on Lanesia, they wouldn’t be fast enough to recover, and if they do step up, that’s why Chanel Akins is in the game. She rolls, and she’s going to be open.”
Akins scored all 10 of her points in the second half after the adjustment.
Alva’s shooters heated up after a slow start, falling behind 5-0 to open the game, but answered with an 11-0 run on threes from Jayna Hadwiger, Lora Riley and Hobbs, and another Riley basket to take a 16-13 lead after the first quarter.
Alva shot 5-of-12 in the first and 4-of-10 from three to take the lead, but hit just seven of 32 attempts in the final three quarters, falling short of double-digit scoring in each.
“They’re as athletic as advertised,” said Alva coach Eric Smith.
“It was tough,” Hobbs said. “They trapped a lot, and sometimes we weren’t ready for it, but we did our best, and that’s all you can do.”
Hobbs, who scored 26 points in the quarterfinals against Colbert and 33 in Friday’s semifinal win over Dale, finished with a team-high 12 points on 4-for-12 shooting. Hobbs averaged 23.6 points in her first state tournament, and her 71 total points fell three short of 11th all-time among five-on-five girls in a state bracket.
“We’re going to come back stronger than ever,” Hobbs said. “I’m going to really miss the seniors — they gave me a great freshman year — but I feel like we’ll be back.”
Hadwiger is the only Alva starter slated to graduate, leaving Riley, Hobbs, Morgan Shiever and Bailey Forney. Riley scored nine on Saturday, and Forell and Shiever each added five for Alva, which finishes its 2A runner-up season at 25-5.
“This was better than any senior year I could have ever imagined,” Hadwiger said. “These girls are great. I’m going to miss them so much, but I’m sure I’ll be back to watch them here next year.”
“We’ve got a young squad, and we have some eighth-graders coming up,” Smith said. “We have a bright future, there’s no doubt there.”