With two quick 3s in the second quarter Saturday afternoon, Okarche’s Morgan Vogt felt the game change.
Red Oak felt the change, too.
Vogt’s treys, mixed with two other Okarche baskets, highlighted a 10-point swing in 75 seconds and sparked the top-ranked Warriors 66-41 rout in the Class B championship at State Fair Arena to win their second straight title.
“Just whenever that happened, I could feel a change of energy in our team,” Vogt said. “We know what we need to do to win and we just got that energy and built up from that.”
And build it did.
Okarche (29-2) outscored Red Oak 22-3 during that second-quarter burst that broke a 13-all tie. During that span, Red Oak coach Casey Butcher attempted to minimize the damage by calling two quick timeouts.
But it was too late. The Eagles (28-3) trailed 35-16 at halftime, falling victim to the Warriors’ full-court press and hot shooting.
“We finally stepped up and putting a press on and finally stopped playing afraid of them and started attacking them,” Okarche coach Cherie Myers said. “We were back to playing our game. We just told them if we’re going to get beat, we’re going to play our style. If they beat us playing our style, that’s fine. We’re just not playing being afraid or backing up.”
Vogt, who finished with a game-high 23 points, was impressive for her third straight game. She scored 13 points in the first half and finished 3 of 4 from beyond the arc.
It was the combination of Vogt and Madi Grellner that proved unstoppable. Grellner added 19 points, including five 3-pointers, two of which came in the second quarter.
“Once I hit my first one, it really takes off a lot of stress and opens up for me to shoot more,” Grellner said. “It really helps my confidence. I knew it was a big game and I had to step up, so that’s what I tried to do.”
Red Oak led 9-4 midway through the first quarter, but fell behind 13-11 by the end of the quarter. It never let again.
Sophomore Rainey Mauzey led the Eagles with 14 points and seven rebounds. Brittany Ward and Baylee Evans also added 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Okarche has now won six championships, including last year’s Class A title to become the first team in 32 years to change classifications and win titles in consecutive years. Coincidentally, Okarche did the same thing in 1981-82.
“It was awesome,” Vogt said about this season’s title run. “Sophomore year we were the underdogs and that was awesome coming in and making it to the finals. Then to carry it on from there every year and have the bullseye on our backs to keep winning and we didn’t let that affect us was awesome.”