BETHANY — Weleetka got to this point of the season ranked No. 1 with balanced offense and stout defense.
So it's no surprise those were the two factors that moved them to the semifinals with a 66-46 win over Laverne in the first round of the Class A state tournament Thursday night at Southern Nazarene University.
Four Weleetka players scored at least 12 points, and the defense finally began to wear down Laverne in the middle of the third quarter.
“Laverne is physical and strong, but I think in that third quarter, they got a little tired and our conditioning paid off for us,” Weleetka coach Brett Thomas said. “We were able to get some open looks and some of them went down.”
Weleetka's Montana Gormly scored 20 points, and forward Caleb Wittman had 16, battling inside against a stout Laverne frontcourt.
“He carried us early,” Thomas said. “He was effective on the boards, put the ball in the hole and knocked down free throws. When he does that, we're a lot better team.”
The Outlaws (26-2) will face Fort Cobb-Broxton at 1:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinal round at State Fair Arena.
Laverne, which ended the season at 23-7, was led by Seth Overstreet with 23 points.