Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY - The Cache Lady Bulldogs returned to the Big House Saturday, one year after falling in the state final. This year, however, the junior-led squad remained undefeated and went home with its first-ever Gold Ball with a 69-50 win over Harrah.
Four of Cache's five starters are in 11th grade, providing promise for another great season next year.
The Lady Bulldogs completed their season undefeated, and experienced head coach Brett Sanders said he couldn’t be more proud to have this year’s squad.
“It’s really emotional right now because I’ve stepped into a place where the girls are just great kids and it’s so fun to coach great kids,” Sanders said. “You just feel so proud.”
“You look yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I like what I’m doing.’”
Honor Duvall had a game-clinching performance. She finished with 26 points Saturday, all of which came in the second half. She went 10-for-11 at the free throw line.
“In the first half, they were guarding me different,” Duvall said. “I just got my confidence back and I just really wanted that gold ball. I just had to put everything into it.”
Duvall provided a strong defensive performance as well, as Harrah's offense struggled to successfully finish drives.
By the end of the third quarter, two Lady Bulldogs had double digits in the scoring column and Cache finished with three players in double figures.
Lindsay Carter finished with 18 points, while Jennifer Rosado ended with 11 points.
The Lady Bulldogs held a 29-20 lead by halftime, with much of their offensive pace being set by the trio of Bretlin Sanders, Carter and Rosado.
On more than one occasion, Carter had a quick break away, took a quick glance around to survey her options, and chose instead to take the shot herself.
She had 11 points by halftime, while Rosado scored nine.
The entire game - from start to finish - showcased both teams' desire for the Gold Ball. The girls didn't shy away from diving after loose balls, forcefully boxing out and playing almost-foul-committing defense.
Both teams wanted to walk away with the title, but it was the Cache Lady Bulldogs who had the necessary pieces, led by a junior squad and seniors determined to end their careers with a stellar performance.
“Year after year, we’re No. 1, but we could never finish,” Duvall said. “Last year we took home the silver, but this year it was ours.”
The Gold Ball was the first in the program's history.