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December 24, 2012

Sulphur meets Hammon in battle of No. 1 teams

Ada —      Class 3A top-ranked Sulphur Lady Bulldogs have proven to be a team of domination through six games of the 2012-13 season.

     Sulphur has beaten its opponents by an average of 35 points per game so far this season.

     That dominance will be truly tested as the Lady Bulldogs participate in the 36th Annual Bertha Frank Teague Mid-America Classic sponsored by Vision Bank Thursday, Dec. 27, at East Central University’s Kerr Activities Center.

     Coach Toby Todd’s Sulphur squad will take on Class B top-ranked Hammon in the opening round at 3 p.m. in a high-profile matchup of No. 1 teams.

     “We like to play an up-tempo game and pressure defense,” said Todd. “We’ve been getting a lot of playing time for many of our players. We had nine players score in our first game, eight in the second, seven in the third and 10 in the fourth.”

     Perhaps the Lady Bulldogs’ most impressive win was their most recent when they routed 13th-ranked Henryetta 62-35 in the finals of the Prague Tournament. They also routed local rival Davis 75-42 during their last pre-Christmas outing.

     Sulphur is led by the senior trio of 5-4 guard Tierani Richardson, 5-10 forward Ebony Harrison and 5-7 point guard Ashley Hughes.

     “Tierani is a great long-range shooter. She’s also real quick and gets to the basket. Ebony is a workhorse on the offensive and defensive end. She can pick up a lot of trash,” Todd said. “Ashley makes everything go. She’s a great leader on the floor.”

     As for the Lady Bulldogs’ opponent, the Hammon Lady Warriors, Todd has the utmost respect.

     “They have a great tradition and a great coach (Lance Carpenter). They’re No. 1 in their class for a reason,” said Todd. “They’re very talented.”

     The Lady Warriors are off to an 11-1 start to the season and, like Sulphur, have one tournament championship under their belt, posting a three-game sweep to claim the Big Five Conference Tourney crown. Hammon knocked off Class B No. 6 Cheyenne-Reydon 40-35 in the finals of that tournament, avenging their only loss of the season (a one-point 43-42 decision).

     The Sulphur-Hammon winner will face the Kiowa-Tulsa Union victor at 6:30 p.m. in the Mid-America Classic semifinals on Friday, Dec. 28, at 6:30 p.m. The two losers in that game will square off in the consolation bracket on Friday, Dec. 28, at 4:30 p.m.

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