Tahlequah Daily Press

December 13, 2013

Tahlequah routed in tournament semifinals by Sand Springs

Sports Editor


Matt Alberty drove to the rim and converted on a reverse layup. It pulled Tahlequah even with Sand Springs at two points apiece in the opening minutes.

That was the last feel-good moment for the Tigers.

Sand Springs scored 12 of the next 14 points and coasted the rest of the night en route to a 76-36 demolition of Tahlequah inside the TMAC on Friday night.

"Rough night in every phase of the game," Tahlequah coach Pat Dotson said. "Teams that can come and match us speed-wise and can physically take us out of what we do, we have a hard problem doing what we need to do."

The Sandites (2-1) — while eclipsing their win total (one) from last season in the process — scorched the nets in the semifinal clash of the 2013 Tahlequah Tiger Invitational. Sand Springs — led by Evan Perry's eight-of-11 shooting effort from the floor, which yielded a game-high 19 points — finished the game 32-of-60 (53.3 percent) from field and eight-of-20 (40 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc.

"We didn't want to have any letdown from yesterday," said Sand Springs coach Eric Savage, whose club knocked off Moore, the tournament's No. 1 seed on Thursday. "We wanted to really build off of that."

Tyler Tolbert and Ashton Palmer also scored in double figures for the Sandites with 15 and 14 points, respectively.

With the win, Sand Springs advances to the tournament's championship game on Saturday night at 8:30. The Sandites will take on Van Buren (Ark.).

Tahlequah (1-2) falls to the third-place game on Saturday, where it'll take on Lawton MacArthur at 5:30.

"In about 12 hours, we get another look at team that can physically come out and work us," said Dotson, whose team had only one scorer in double figures — Matt Alberty with 14 points.

"We just need to see if we can make the adjustments that we need to make."

While Sand Springs wasn't missing, Tahlequah struggled to generate anything on offense, going 12 of 51 (23.5 percent) from the field. The Tigers were also out-rebounded 39 to 30.

Sand Springs 76, Tahlequah 36

Tah     7     5     10     14     -     36

SS     20     15     23     18     -     76

Tahlequah (1-2): Matt Alberty 14, VAder 4, Paris 4, Dick 4, Cunningham 3, Kelley 2, Washington 2, McDowell 2, Faddis 1.

Sand Springs (2-1): Evan Perry 19, Tyler Tolbert 15, Ashton Palmer 14, Lattie 8, Keener 8, Smith 6, Titone 2, Ward 2.