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Tigers basketball travel to Bishop Kelley, earn a split

In their first matchup of the season, the Lady Tigers defeated the Lady Comets 42-32. Tahlequah was able to improve on that result behind another smothering defensive performance. They collected 12 steals and forced the Lady Comets to shoot 34 percent for a 47-27 win.

In the first quarter, the Lady Tigers took the lead 14-8 led by Kori Rainwaters with six points. The second quarter was just an extension of the first with both teams struggling to score at times.

At the half, Tahlequah took the lead into the locker room 23-14.

Early in the third quarter, the Lady Tigers forced the lead into double digits. They sped up the pace of the game by getting the ball down the court quickly on offense and picking up five steals in the quarter, leading to several fast break attempts.

Late in the fourth quarter, the Lady Tigers kept their foot on the pedal. In district play, winning by more than 15 points gives a team extra points in case of a tie in the rankings at the end of district play.

With 1:15 to play, Talyn Dick drained a three-pointer off an assist from Jadyn Buttery, giving the Lady Tigers a 18 point lead.

The next two Lady Comet possessions came up empty and Madi Mathews stole the 20-point win with a couple of free throws in the final seconds for a 47-27 Lady Tiger Win.

This brought their record for the season to 21-1 with the district title coming down to the final game of the season while on the road against Booker T. Washington.

Buttery led the score with 13 points, and she also had eight rebounds, three assists, three steals, and three blocks. Rainwater had 12 points and seven rebounds and five blocks, Mathews had six points and five assists. Dick had six points, Jersey Retzloff had five points and five steals, and Paisley Qualls had five points to finish the scoring.

The Tigers came into Friday’s game looking to maintain some momentum coming off an overtime win against East Central. It would prove to be tough without leading scorer Donovan Smith.

Early in the game, these young Tigers proved they belonged and could threaten an upset. With the Tigers leading 10-8 with under a minute to play in the quarter, Rylan Kimble hit a pullup jumper for his first varsity points. Just moments later, J.J. Antwine hit a tough turnaround jumper as time was expiring in the quarter for a 14-8 Tiger lead.

Scoring in the second quarter would be hard to come by for the Tigers. Cash McAlvain would supply seven points and Kimble would knock down a three from the right side.

The Comets would tie the game at 24 in the final seconds but a pass by Antwine would find Daniel Carey in the left corner. He would beat his defender on the closeout and finish the contested layup for his first varsity bucket, giving the Tigers the improbable lead at the half 26-24.

The third quarter would find the Tigers struggling to score without their go-to player. McAlvain would score five and Cole Robertson would pitch in three for all the Tiger points in the quarter.

Bishop Kelley was starting to find their offensive momentum and scored 17 points in the quarter, taking a seven-point lead into the fourth.

McAlvain would do everything in his power to provide some Tiger offense in the fourth quarter hitting some tough shots.

Offensive momentum would be hard to gain for the Tigers again in the fourth by only scoring 12 points to the Comets’ 22, leading to a 46-63 loss for these young Tigers.

McAlvain led the Tigers in scoring with 17 while Robertson had 12 points and seven rebounds. Kimble had five, Antwine and Daniel Carey had four, Gage Hodgson and Jordan Dougherty had two.

What’s next

The Tahlequah Tigers will finish out the regular season at Booker T. Washington Tuesday, Feb. 13.


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