V is for Victory: Stiff defense, second half shooting surge sends Anadarko girls to state title game
OKLAHOMA CITY — Averi Zinn crashed into the State Fair Park logo of basket stanchion on the baseline of Jim Norick Arena and wasn’t remotely fazed by the violent collision.
The pure hustle play by the Anadarko junior guard broke up a breakaway layup off a steal and it prolonged Victory Christian’s fourth quarter field goal drought with the Warriors nursing a double-digit lead.
“It’s just a habit of working hard,” said Averi Zinn, who scored a game-high 14 points. “All of us are in the perfect places to make sure we give them only the hardest possible shot.”
On the ensuing possession against the full court press, Anadarko threw a homerun pass to a streaking Lexi Foreman who collided with the opposite baseline stanchion while making the breakaway layup to ice second-seeded Anadarko’s 46-32 Class 4A semifinal victory over third-seeded Victory Christian on Friday afternoon, sending the Warriors to their first state title game since 2015.
“Eleven,” said Averi Zinn with a laugh when asked on a 10-point scale her level of joy realizing the Warriors will be playing for a state championship today, which will tip at 12:15 p.m. at the State Fairgrounds, where the Warriors will meet fifth-seeded Muldrow (29-1), which dispatched Elgin.
Anadarko (26-3) held Victory Christian (24-5) without a field goal the entire fourth quarter and the Warriors shook off a woeful 24 percent first half shooting performance to break a 21-all halftime tie while building a double-digit lead with four third quarter 3-balls to push their winning streak to 20 games.
“We did have a bit of hangover effect from last night, but the main thing is we kept playing defense,” Anadarko coach Jeff Zinn said regarding the short turnaround from a late quarterfinal game to a noon semifinal tipoff. “A lot of times when you’re missing shots in a big atmosphere like this, it’s easy to get down on yourself and not play as good of defense.”