The Tahelquah Lady Tigers’ tenacious defense in the forth quarter led Tahlequah to a 42-37 victory over Skiatook on Tuesday night.
“We didn’t get much out of our press early but we wore them down and it started to work in the fourth,” Tahlequah coach Johnny Dyson said.
Trailing 34-27 with a little more than three minutes to go in the contest, Tahlequah ramped their defensive pressure up. The Lady Tigers knocked down a basket to cut the lead for the Lady Bulldogs to just five as the three-minute mark approached.
Eventually, Tahlequah’s Marisa Girdner pulled up from behind the arc on the right wing and knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the lead for Skiatook to just 34-32.
The next thing to happen would completely change the game the Lady Tigers
Alli George knocked the ball away from the defender and she then ran the ball down and drove inside for a game-tying layup.
“George’s steal was no doubt the turning point in the game,” Dyson said.
All the momentum had shifted to the home side following the steal. Kacady Glory put Tahlequah up 36-34, hitting the go ahead shot with just a minute and change to play.
After Skiatook tied the game up again, Reagan Clark put Tahlequah ahead with a hook shot to put the Lady Tigers up 38-35. Then, after a Skiatook turnover, Clark buried two free throws to give Tahlequah a comfortable edge moving forward.
“The win was a good conference win,” Dyson said. “Any win in conference is a big win.”
Clark led Tahlequah with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
“Reagan Clark stepped up big tonight,” said Dyson, who also had Whitney Wright add in 11 points and six rebounds.
Boys: Tahlequah 66, Skiatook 53
Tahlequah got a huge boost on Tuesday night, beating Skiatook 66-53 to get to even in conference play at 3-3 on the season.
“We have played a tough schedule this season and this win was a huge win in the region and in conference,” Tahlequah boys coach Pat Dotson said.
Throughout the first half, the Tigers and Bulldogs battled back and forth Tahlequah jumped out to a 4-1 lead early. The first half went back and forth until both teams went into the break knotted at 29.
The Tigers came out in the second half firing on all cylinders, going on an 11-2 run to start the third quarter. Fast-break opportunities led to the Tigers getting open shots in the third that they were able to connect on.
Will Carlile led the Tigers with 19 points on the night.
Heading into the fourth quarter, Tahlequah lead Skiatook 49-35.
“Guys are beginning to understand the offense and are starting to execute,” Dotson said.
Stone Faddis added 13 points for the Tigers, who will continue at home on Friday against Coweta.