Top-ranked Lady Wildcats speed past No. 5 Allen in first round

Mar. 1—OKLAHOMA CITY — When Cherish Woodward hit a 3-pointer at the 5:41 mark of the opening quarter, No. 5 Allen grabbed a 5-4 lead over Class A juggernaut and top-ranked Seiling in their early-morning matchup in the first round of the Class A State Tournament inside the Jim Norick Arena.

However, the Lady Wildcats, who have won six of the past seven Class A state titles, scored the next 12 points and used their trademark relentless defense to pull away for an 85-37 win.

Seiling improved to 24-3 and advanced to today's 9 a.m. semifinal contest, while Allen's outstanding season ended at 24-4. The Lady Wildcats won state championships in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022 and last year —they're eyeing a 3-peat this season — and in contrast, the Allen girls were making their third state tournament appearance in program history.

Seiling 85, Allen 37

The Lady Wildcats had built a 33-9 lead early in the second quarter before Allen got within 36-16 on a 3-pointer from Addison Prentice with just under six minutes left.

Seiling stretched its lead 49-19 with a quick 13-3 surge and went into halftime on top 58-27. Allen scored a respectable 18 points in the second period but the Lady Wildcats had forced 20 AHS turnovers by halftime and had scored 35 points off those miscues.

"Generally in Class A girls (basketball) you feel pretty dang good scoring 27 points in a half at state," said one veteran member of the media who has covered Seiling during its recent heyday.

The Lady Mustangs were limited to only 10 points over the final two quarters.

Cherish Woodward led Allen with 11 points and three steals. Kaylee Davis finished with eight points and Ava Laden — the team's lone senior — chipped in six points and grabbed a team-high six rebounds.

Stoney Culley scored five points and had three rebounds and three assists and Prentice scored four points.

Woodward, Prentice, and Kayla Nickell all made 3-point baskets for Allen.

Braci Nyberg led the Seiling attack with 23 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. She made three 3-point shots and finished 6-of-8 from the free-throw line. Kenley Gore finished with 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting and drilled four 3-pointers.

Post-player Aryahana Whetstone was next with 14 points and six rebounds. Keirstin Briggs also reached double figures with 11 points.

Seiling hit a total of nine 3-pointers in the victory.

The Lady Wildcats ended up 12-of-15 from the free-throw line. Allen finished 8-of-16 from the charity stripe.