Baylee Evans pumped her fist after she drained her fifth 3-pointer of the game that extended Red Oak’s lead over Lomega and put the nail in the coffin on a 65-56 overtime win.
The senior guard tallied 21 points in the semi-final win, it took all of 36 minutes to do it. Red Oak got a huge offensive rebound from Myranda Rowland off a missed free throw with under two minutes to play, Rowland put in a layup right away to give the Lady Eagles the lead for good.
“What can I say, she (Evans) didn’t play real well yesterday and it just shows her mental toughness about how she struggled but today brought it,” Red Oak head coach Casey Butcher said. “She recovered and I’m excited for her but all our kids played well.”
Lomega needed every bit of senior Taylor Mendell to stay in the game and force overtime. The Lady Raiders trailed by one point heading into the fourth quarter of the back-and-forth game. Mendell’s consistent play kept Lomega close despite its 18 turnovers. She was the only Lomega player in double figures with 21.
Red Oak finished with eight 3-pointers but it was the inside play from Rowland and Rainey Mauzey that proved key down the stretch. Rowland finished with six points and eight rebounds. Mauzey, a sophomore, finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
“The big deal was get a stop, have a good possession,” Butcher said. “We got a little bit of a lead and with our post game and our gaurds that shoot it if you just sit back we’re going to have a chance at the end.”
Red Oak heads to the Class B Championship game with only one loss. They play Okarche Saturday at 1:45 p.m. at State Fair Arena.
“Well they’re the favorite and understandably so,” Butcher said. “But I like my kids and at the end of the day my kids are going to outwork everyone.”