From one battle of unbeatens to another.
Undefeated Sulphur handed Adair its first loss of the season, 59-46, in Friday night’s Class 3A girls state semifinals at State Fair Arena. And now, the No. 1 Bulldogs get second-ranked Perkins-Tryon in Saturday’s 2 p.m. championship game.
Ashley Hughes scored 29 points to lead Sulphur, which broke away from a halftime tie with a 15-0 run that began midway through the third quarter.
But it wasn’t Hughes’ hot hand on the offensive end that most impressed coach Toby Todd.
“Everybody’s gonna look at her points, and say that’s an awesome thing,” Todd said. “But what doesn’t show is her intensity and focus on the defensive end in the second half.
“She’s our leader and when it came crunch time, she stepped up in a major way.”
Adair fought back from an early deficit to tie the game at 29 in the second half, but Sulphur allowed only six points in the third quarter, stretching the lead back to double-digits early in the fourth.
Fourth-ranked Adair got 24 points from Kylie Looney, including six 3-pointers, but suffered its first loss of the season to conclude the year at 28-1.
Sulphur (29-0) got 12 points from Tierani Richardson and 10 from Bailee Eldred in the win, yet another impressive victory for the Bulldogs on the year.
“This season, we tried to beef up our schedule a little bit,” Todd said. “We played the 4A state champions from Texas. We played Tulsa Union. Those were huge wins for us. This win ranks up there with all of them.
“Coming down to the end, with three undefeated teams, whoever comes away with it is definitely gonna deserve it.”
Sulphur and Perkins-Tryon will meet at 2 p.m. Saturday at State Fair Arena for the gold ball.