By Dave Wagner
MELROSE — It’s been a while since the Melrose girls beat Elida in basketball.
So long, in fact, that no one could remember for sure the last time it happened after the Lady Buffaloes rode 30-of-38 free throw shooting and double-figure scoring from four players to a 67-53 whipping of the Lady Tigers in District 3-1A action Friday night.
Melrose’s inside tandem of junior Audrey Hemminger (25 points, 15 rebounds) and senior Allison Cochran (15 points, 10 rebounds), both 6-foot-2, dominated the inside. The Lady Buffs (7-10, 2-0 district) also got 14 points from senior Jessica Hail and 11 from 6-0 sophomore Schuyler Cochran.
“We have a big rivalry with Elida and (fellow district foe) Fort Sumner,” Hemminger said. “Those teams have kept us from getting out of district the last few years, and I’d like to make it out of district sometime before (her career ends).”
After Elida’s Shalie Anthony broke a 13-13 tie with the first basket of the second quarter, Melrose took control with the next 16 points. All five starters scored in the surge, led by Allison Cochran with seven points.
The Lady Buffs pushed their lead into double figures for good two minutes into the third quarter, and led by as much as 21 points in the late going.
“They played really well tonight,” said Lady Tigers coach Dan Howard, who surmised Melrose’s last win in the series was sometime in the mid-1990s. “They beat us to spots all over the floor. Melrose was ready to play tonight, and they played really well.”
Hemminger finished 13-for-15 from the line, making the last 12 in a row, while Allison Cochran went 7-for-7. They helped foul out three Elida starters.
Also sparking the Lady Buffs was a switch from man-to-man defense to a 2-3 zone during the first quarter. Coach Sheila Roberts experimented briefly with a 1-3-1 before finding the 2-3 seemed to suit her team.
The Lady Tigers (8-8, 1-1) put three players in double figures, led by senior Samantha Southard with three 3-pointers and 11 points. Senior Keisha Chenault and sophomore Kodi Armitage each scored 10.
Melrose boys 73, Elida 45
Sophomore Carlos Ruiz scored Melrose’s first 10 points in less than two minutes and the Buffaloes (10-5, 2-0) cruised past the outmanned Tigers.
Eleven of Melrose’s 15 players scored, led by Ruiz with 18 points, senior Harvey Park with 11 and sophomore Stefan Wagley with 10. Six players combined on the Buffs’ seven 3-pointers.
Wesley Gilmore, one of two eighth-graders starting for the Tigers (2-11, 0-2), led all scorers with 21 points. He had three of Elida’s five 3-pointers.
Dora girls 72, Vaughn 15
VAUGHN — The Lady Coyotes took control early in Friday’s game and led 58-6 at the half.
D’Shawn Pettigrew had 20 and Kassandra Clark 15 for Dora, which played most of the game with the clock running via the 35-point mercy rule.
Kelsey McKinney added 10 for Dora, while Sadie Madrid led Vaughn with six points.
Tatum 46, Dora girls 42
DORA — In a battle of the Coyotes squads, visiting Tatum edged Dora on the second game of a back-to-back.
“We came out and played well in the first quarter,” Dora coach Bill Stockton said, “but it was the same old story. Shots didn’t drop (after that) and they basically won the game at the free-throw line.”
The visiting Lady Coyotes were 12-of-23 from the line, while Dora (5-9, 1-1) was just 3-of-10.
Pettigrew and Tatum’s Tina Burnett each scored 14 to lead their respective squads.
Dora will return to District 3-1A play Tuesday when it hosts Melrose.
Tatum 87, Dora boys 56
Art Castro scored 30 points to lead Tatum in a rout of the host Coyotes.
Rusty Hale added 13 and George Sanchez 12 for Tatum, which hit six 3-pointers in the first quarter and built an early lead.
Dora (3-12) was led by J.R. Gonzalez with 18 points, while Tyler Wilhoit and Clayton Stokes each had 11.