BETHANY—Okarche senior Morgan Vogt felt it was vital the Warriors open the Class B state tournament strong.
Consider that accomplished, as top-ranked Okarche used a suffocating defense alongside Vogt’s 30 points in a 74-46 rout of No. 7 Burlington on Thursday at Southern Nazarene University.
“It’s good to build off of this because we all had a lot of energy,” Vogt said. “Even in the second half we came out and we kept pushing it and kept running a lot.
“It was really important that we came out here strong and start out on a good note like we did.”
Okarche, last year’s Class A champion, plays Class B defending champion Erick at noon Friday at State Fair Arena.
The Warriors (27-2) forced 22 turnovers, 10 of which came in the first quarter as they took a 21-10 lead. They didn’t stop there as they used four more in the second to build an even bigger 37-23 lead before adding even more to the lead in the second half. Okarche led by as many as 34 in the fourth.
“We put a lot of stock in our defense,” Okarche coach Cherie Myers said. “We hope that we’re going to cause some havoc, do some changing and hopefully you’re going to have to think about us and we get a lot of points from our defense. So, I was pleased with that.”
Vogt, meanwhile, was nearly unstoppable. She scored 17 points in the first half, 11 of which came in the first quarter. She also added five rebounds, four steals and four assists.
“Morgan’s just tough,” Myers said. “She works hard and she does what you ask of her. She’s just a unique individual. We’re glad she’s on our side.”
Vogt said her big performance was the result of her teammates.
“Whenever that happens, it’s just a lot of my team feeding the ball and giving me good passes,” she said. “I think we did really good playing together. We had a lot of good energy out there today.”
Senior Madi Grellner also scored 18 points, all on 3-pointers.
Burlington (27-6), which was in its first state tournament since 1997, was led by sophomore Sarah Gravie’s 20 points.