Lizzy Simpson of Vanoss

Lizzy Simpson of Vanoss tries to split the Allen double team of Kinsey Nix (24) and Jaycee Watkins (20) during their contest Friday night inside ECU’s Kerr Activities Center. The Lady Wolves defeated Allen 65-34 to win the 2017-18 Pontotoc Conference regular-season championship.

The Vanoss Lady Wolves continued their dominance of Pontotoc Conference foes by dismantling Allen 65-34 Friday night inside East Central University’s Kerr Activities Center.

Vanoss, ranked No. 9 in Class 2A, improved to 20-5 on the year and won the regular-season conference championship with an unblemished 7-0 record. The Lady Mustangs fell to 16-5.

The two teams could meet again Saturday night in a Class 2A District Tournament title game in Wewoka. Allen meets the host Lady Tigers in a first-round matchup Friday night, and the winner of that game advances to the championship game opposite the Lady Wolves.

Last Friday’s game was over almost as quickly as it started. Vanoss went on a 22-4 run to start the game and never looked back.

Vanoss head coach Jonathon Hurt said he could tell his team was focused before the game tipped off.

“We started quick. Really we had the best shoot-around we’ve had all year long, so I knew we were ready to go,” he said.

Vanoss post player Emrie Ellis was nearly unstoppable the entire contest. She scored 19 of her game-high 28 points through the first two quarters as the host team forged a 37-15 halftime lead.

The Lady Wolves scored the first 10 points of the game, and Ellis later scored eight points in a 12-0 VHS surge that was capped by a Riley Rush 3-pointer at the 6:00-minute mark of the second quarter that extended her team’s lead to 22-4.

Lizzy Simpson hit two free throws, and Rush followed with another 3-pointer to open the third period to put Vanoss ahead 42-15.

Allen then had its best stretch of the game, using a 17-9 run capped by a basket and a free shot by Calissa Childers that got the Lady Mustangs within 51-32.

“One thing we need to do is find that same intensity to start the second half. We’ve been kind of lackluster in second halves when we’ve built bigger leads, and we have to do a better job with that,” Hurt said.

Things would again go south for Allen in the fourth quarter, when they went 0-for-7 from the field and hit just single free shots by Sunzie Harrison and Emily Sells, as Vanoss finished the game on a 14-2 burst.

Ellis pulled down a whopping 21 rebounds and also had six blocked shots, two steals and four assists in the game.

“She does a good job, and it’s hard to double her because all of our other players are solid too,” Hurt said. “Our kids just complement each other really well.”

Simpson added a double-double of her own with 15 points and 12 rebounds to go with three steals off the bench. That VHS post tandem (Simpson and Ellis) helped Vanoss dominate the battle of the boards 58-28.

Rush sank four 3-pointers and scored 13 points for the Lady Wolves.

Sells led the Allen offense with 13 points, including four triples of her own. Harrison also hit double figures with 11.

Allen shot just 11-of-54 (20.4 percent) from the field and was just 4-of-31 (12.9 percent) in two-point attempts. Vanoss sank 18-of-28 free throws, compared to a 5-of-9 showing by Allen.

Jeff Cali has been covering sports in the Ada area since the mid-90s. He graduated from Byng High School and earned a bachelor’s degree from East Central University.