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Lady Tigers defeat McAlester 57-39 for second-straight regional title

In game one of the tournament, top-seeded Tahlequah faced off against No. 8 seed Tulsa Edison.


The Lady Tigers jumped out fast for a 29-2 lead at the end of the first quarter. With no doubt as to the outcome of the game, Head Coach David Qualls started rotating players into the lineup in the second quarter and giving the younger players valuable playoff experience for the future.


The final score of game one was Tahlequah 65 and a very young Tulsa Edison team 10.


Game two of the tournament was between two familiar teams to decide who the Lady Tigers would play in the finals. Early in the season, Tahlequah played McAlester in the Tahlequah tournament and barely got the win, 56-54.


The Lady Tigers faced Collinsville twice during the season, winning both matchups by the scores of 63-49 and 63-44.  

        

Early in the game, both teams’ defenses were on display with scoring being extremely hard to come by. As the game progressed, McAlester’s shooting started to exhibit itself, but Collinsville wasn’t backing down and was scoring from the inside.


In the end, Collinsville had their chances but lack of execution from the free-throw line and timely shooting by the Lady Bufs were the difference and lead to a 44-39 win for McAlester. This set up a tough matchup for Tahlequah in the finals.


In the first quarter, Talyn Dick set the pace early by hitting two threes for the Lady Tigers to jump out to an early lead.


McAlester wouldn’t go away easily though, battling back to within one at the end of the quarter, 16-15.


Both teams struggled to score with the contest slowing down during the second quarter. Tahlequah was trying to work the ball inside to Kori Rainwater, who had six points in the first quarter, but only two in the second.


Jadyn Buttery picked up her second foul early in the quarter and was forced to go to the bench for most of the quarter. The Lady Tiger defense was able to not only hold the lead but help extend it by holding the Lady Bufs to only four points and those came from offensive putbacks.


The third quarter was the best quarter for the Lady Tiger offense. Coach Qualls came out of the halftime break with some offensive adjustments that freed up Lady Tiger shooters.


Tahlequah was able to win the quarter, 18-8 with Dick leading the way with eight. In the fourth, the Lady Tigers were able to not only keep the lead but extend it by two from Rainwater. She had eight points and accounted for four more with two assists for a Lady Tiger win, 57-39.


The win moves the Lady Tigers into the Area Tournament with a record of 24-1. Dick finished with 22 points, tied for a career high, Rainwater had 20 points and 10 rebounds her 22nd career double-double and a career high seven assists. Madi Mathews had nine points and one three-pointer leaving her two short of 100 for her career. Buttery had five points, ending a streak of 20-straight games in double figures, and Jersey Retzloff finished with 1.


What’s next


The Tahlequah Lady Tigers play the Coweta Lady Tigers Thursday, Feb. 29 at 6 p.m. in Sand Springs.  

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