The McAlester Lady Buffaloes had to double-team 6-foot-2 Collinsville center Mallory Vaughn in the paint, leaving the Lady Cardinals' guards open along the perimeter.
With a roster full of outside shooters, the Lady Cards' guards were more than happy to make the Lady Buffs pay for that decision.
Six Lady Cardinals combined for 13 3-pointers, helping Collinsville dominate McAlester, 66-30, in Saturday's regional championship at Collinsville.
“Pretty much anybody that was playing in their white uniform could hit a 3-pointer besides 42 (Vaughn),” Lady Buffs coach April Burns said.
“You focus on the post player, and then their guards kill you. If you focus on the guards, then their post kills you. So, they have a really good team.”
All five of Collinsville's first-quarter points came via 3-pointers. Taylor O'Dell (12 points) put the Lady Cards up 3-0 off a pass from Sawyer Salisbury with 5:20 left in the first, then O'Dell found Dakota Jefferson for a 3-pointer one possession later.
Baylee Dawkins answered with a 3-pointer for McAlester, but the Lady Buffs wouldn't score again until 5:39 remained in the second quarter. O'Dell followed Dawkins with back-to-back 3s, the second coming off a play in which she inbounded the ball to Jefferson, ran behind a screen, caught a pass from Jefferson behind the 3-point line and buried it for a 12-3 lead.
Collinsville's defense forced a five-second violation against McAlester, then Salisbury hit a 3-pointer for a 15-3 lead. Salisbury scored 13 for Collinsville.
“We work on it every day, but today we just really hit them,” Salisbury said of her team's 3-point shooting.
“It makes you really excited when all you're teammates are hitting.”
The Lady Cards paired their lights-out shooting with a high-pressure, man-to-man halfcourt defense. Often breaking out of man coverage to trap a Lady Buffs ball-handler, the Lady Cards prevented the Lady Buffs from ever finding any kind of offensive rhythm.