Patriots blow past Wildcats to win pre-season tourney



December 14, 2019 - 12:43 AM

Bailey Griffith drives to the basket against West Welk. REGISTER/ERICK MITCHELL

MORAN —West Elk High’s red-hot shooting from the outside and dominance in the paint was too much for the Marmaton Valley Wildcat girls to handle Friday night. 

The Patriots cruised to the 41-21 victory over the Wildcats to finish first in the Marmaton Valley pre-season tournament. 

“They have good athletes,” interim head coach Dan Uhlrich said. “They’ve been to state the last two years in a row for a reason. They have quality, are big, and quick. I thought our girls played their tails off.”

While the final score may indicate Patriot domination, the Wildcats battled in the early stages. Bailey Griffith’s free throw and a deuce from Alyson Ard provided the scoring in the first. Marmaton Valley trailed 8-3 after the first quarter. 

Mykayla Ard opened the scoring in the second with a 15-foot jumper, and Griffith converted twice more from the free throw line to trim the Patriot lead to 3. 

The three-point deficit would be the closest Marmaton Valley came the rest of the way. West Elk responded with a 10-0 run.

“We were playing with them,” Uhlrich said. “If we hit our free throws and get back in defense, instead of trailing by 18 at the half, we would have been within three or four and still in the ball game.”

The Patriots slowed down offensively in the third, scoring only four points, but the Wildcats did no better. West Elk cruised into the final period leading 31-10. 

In the final period, West Elk’s Megan McCleandon found her rhythm by connecting on back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers to take the 40-15 lead. Alyson Ard added a few late scores for the Wildcats, but had no impact on the commanding 41-21 Patriot win. 

Tuesday will be Uhlrich’s final day in charge, before handing the keys to Sherri Bagshaw. 

“The girls four games in have played their tails off,” Ulrich said. “They are just playing hard, wanting to get better, and wanting to improve.”


Marmaton Valley (5-4-1-11— 21) (pts) Griffith 7, Mykayla Ard 3, Aly Ard 19, Becker 1. 

West Elk (8-14-9-10 — 41) (pts): Megan McCleandon 19, Molly McCleandon 3, Whetstone 3, Helms 2, Walker 14, Wiseman 1.