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Lady Tigers finish Tournament of Champions as Consolation Champs

The Tahlequah Lady Tigers finish the 58th Tournament of Champions 2023 with the best result in school history.

The 2017 tournament saw the Lady Tigers falling in the consolation game to 6A Westmoore, 75-57. In the 2021 tournament, the Lady Tigers beat Booker T. Washington 44-42 behind a outstanding performance by then senior, Alexsyah Goudeau, in the seventh place game.

The first round matchup saw the Lady Tigers square off against the reigning tournament champions Lincoln Christian and tournament MVP Maddi Stewart.

The Lady Tigers found themselves down 26-18 at the half while facing a stingy swarming defense making it hard for the Lady Tigers to get any offensive flow.

Coming out of the break the eventual second place Lady Bulldogs went on a 11-0 run to essentially seal the game. The final score was 48-34 with the Lady Bulldogs getting 21 of those points off of Tahlequah turnovers. Tahlequah was led by senior Jadyn Buttery with 11 points followed by Madi Mathews with 10.

The second round found the Lady Tigers looking to bounce back with a win against the 2A Riverside Lady Indians.

The first half found both teams fairly evenly matched with the Lady Tigers, clawing a 27-23 lead going into the break.

In the third quarter, the Tigers found their defensive intensity and only allowed seven points while scoring 13 points. The fourth was even with both teams scoring 15 for a final of 55-45 Lady Tigers. Kori Rainwater led the way with 14 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, three steals and five blocks.

The Consolation game found a familiar foe awaiting the Lady Tigers in the form of the Lady Cardinals of Verdigris.

In the early going it was a game of streaks with Verdigris jumping out to a 5-0 lead, being answered by a 14-0 run by the Lady Tigers.

At this point it seemed like it would be a blowout but the Lady Cardinals wouldn’t go away that easy, answering with a 7-0 run of their own. 

Going into the half, the Lady Tigers were holding on to a perilous 29-22 lead. In the fourth quarter, Tahlequah was able to build an 11-point lead but was quickly closed to seven at the 2:39 mark of the fourth. Jadyn Buttery was able to calmly knock down two crucial free throws and the Lady Tigers outscored Verdigris 8-5 down the stretch to secure the best finish in the prestigious invitational, dubbed as Oklahoma’s premier high school basketball tournament.

The Lady Tigers were led by tournament second-team selections Kori Rainwater with 15 points and six blocks. Jadyn Buttery also had 15 points, going 5-6 from the foul line. Madi Mathews finished the game with 13 points as well as securing tournament honors with the best 3-point percentage, going 7-13.

Talyn Dick finished with nine points, going 2-3 from three. Jersey Retzloff scored two points to go along with three steals. Carsyn Gilbert had three as well as two assists and two rebounds. Lauren Stephens rounded out the scoring with two.

What's next

The Lady Tigers will play undefeated Purcell at 12 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 4 in the first round of the Verdigris Tournament.



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