Pauls Valley didn’t stand a chance once Plainview hit the floor — literally.

Pauls Valley didn’t stand a chance once the Plainview girls hit the floor — literally.

Winning the loose-ball battle, Plainview ended the first half on a 15-1 run en route to a 69-42 win over the Panthers in the first round of the Southern Oklahoma Classic on Thursday.

Tierani Richardson scored 19 of her game-high 23 points before halftime, as the Indians’ lead expanded to 41-15 after two quarters.

Plainview (9-5) started the game on a 5-0 run with a Richardson 3-pointer, and a layup by Kati Weatherford off a Pauls Valley turnover. But the Panthers (1-13) responded with a 5-0 run of their own.

After tying the score, however, the Panthers didn’t string together more than five points in a row until the fourth quarter.

“We’re starting to come into our own,” Plainview coach Andy Bloodworth said. “We’re really gaining lots of confidence. We’re hitting our stride at the right time towards the end of the season.”

With the score knotted at 5-all, Plainview went on a 15-2 tear in the first quarter. The key to several easy Indian baskets was their full-court press, which forced Pauls Valley into 19 first-half turnovers.

To start the second, Pauls Valley went on a 4-2 run, but the Indians came up with their sixth turnover of the quarter and Richardson canned a corner 3 to put Plainview up by 15.

That started the game-clenching 15-1 spurt. Out of a Pauls Valley timeout at 3:30, Plainview center Abbie Wallace hit a turnaround jumper. After three free throws, Richardson added another 3 for the 37-15 lead, then Kristen Galles sprawled to the floor for a steal underneath the Plainview basket and passed to Richardson, who scored a breakaway layup.

Weatherford added two free throws to send the Indians into halftime up 26 points.

“We’ve been working a lot on transition,” said Galles, who scored 13 points. “On moving the ball and looking for the open man; going as hard as we can all the time.”

Weatherford and Wallace added 13 and 10 points, respectively, for the Indians, who will play the winner of Atoka and Idabel today at 6:40 p.m.

Lauren Wood scored 14 points, and Cherykee Humphrey added 10 for Pauls Valley.

Erik K. Horne