By CEDRIQUE FLEMMING
The Tahlequah girls basketball team used a strong second half to defeat Coweta 46-40 Friday afternoon inside the Tahlequah Multipurpose Activities Center in the semifinals of the consolation bracket at the 2013 Tahlequah Tiger Invitational.
The Tahlequah Lady Tigers entered the third quarter trailing 26-21, but Whitney Wright and Lindsey Wade combined for seven quick points to bring the visitors on the scoreboard into a 28-28 tie with 4:22 to play in the frame.
A pair of free throws from Wade at 3:15 gave Tahlequah its first lead of the game, and the Lady Tigers turned a five-point deficit into a three-point lead by the end of the quarter. Coweta shot just 1-for-7 in the third and turned the ball over seven times.
Coweta got back to within one point at the 4:27 mark of the fourth quarter following a layup from Miranda Elliott, but Tahlequah was able to stretch its lead out to eight before holding on for the six-point triumph.
Wade was the lone member of the Tahlequah Lady Tigers to reach double figures, as she ended with 11 points and seven rebounds. Wright and Alli George both had eight, and nine members of the team scored in the contest.
Tahlequah shot 31 percent from the field (16-for-51), 29 percent from downtown (4-for-14) and 71 percent (10-for-14) at the free-throw line.
Madison Whiteley led the Coweta Lady Tigers with 15 points, and Elliot added 14 points and eight rebounds. Four of Coweta’s starters played the entire 32 minutes, while Rachel McClanahan was on the floor for 26 minutes.
Coweta shot 40 percent from the field (15-for-38), 20 percent from the free-throw line (2-for-10) and 73 percent at the free-throw line (8-for-11).
Tahlequah led in bench points (20-0), points off turnovers (13-4) and second-chance points (5-0).
Tahlequah will now face Heritage in the finals of the consolation bracket at 1 p.m. Dec. 14. Coweta will play Van Buren at 10 a.m. in the seventh-place game.