Tahlequah Daily Press

High School Sports

December 4, 2012

Tournaments on tap for area teams

Hulbert still is not ranked in the newest edition of the Class 2A poll that came out today. But the Lady Riders are still garnering respect this week.

The Hulbert girls will carry the label of No. 1 seed as they enter the Greenleaf Invitational in Porum. The Lady Riders will get tournament play started today at 4:30 against Gore.

“We have the No. 1 seed,” Hulbert coach Rick Ott said, “so people must think we have the ability to be pretty good.”

Through two games this season, that’s been the case. Hulbert breezed past Chouteau (73-35) in its opener and followed that up with a 52-29 rout of Warner on Friday.

“We think we’ve already opened some eyes with the first two games we’ve played this year,” Ott said. “These kids can play and they like to play.”

Navigating through his first year on the job, one thing has become clear to Ott: he has a group that enjoys competing.

“This team knows the game pretty good,” said Ott, who took over after last coaching at Inola. “They’re so coachable. They try to do everything that I ask them to do.

“You don’t have to worry about getting them fired up and ready to go. That’s been a pleasant thing to deal with. Kids, sometimes, don’t get ready to play, and this bunch shows up ready to go get it.”

Coming into this season, Ott knew he’d have key cogs in the rotation in Allison Arnall, Tiffany Thompson and Lindsey Krueger. But the emergence of Megan Cox and Brooke Bailey have added offensive firepower for the Lady Riders.

“The Warner coaches came and watched us play Chouteau, and Megan got everyone’s attention,” Ott said, “and that made Warner play a triangle and two on her and Tiffany. That allowed Lindsey, Brooke and Allison to play three-on-three.”

Through two games this season, Cox has averaged 11 points per game.

“She’s got a real pretty shot, and she’s developed into a good shooter,” Ott said of Cox. “She’s also learned her role as a defensive player.”

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