The Tahlequah girls held on to win over Coweta in the final seconds, 46-43, on Friday night at the Tahlequah Multipurpose Activities Center. Coweta gave Tahlequah all they could want, but defense led Tahlequah to victor
“We are starting to build some momentum at the right time of the year," Tahlequah coach Johnny Dyson said.
As late February approaches, Tahlequah nears regional play and the win over Coweta pushed Tahlequah’s conference record to 4-3 on the season.
In the final minute of the game, Tahlequah led by four points over Coweta, and Tahlequah never let Coweta back in the game by nailing free throws. In fact, Tahlequah made all but one its foul-line attempts on the night.
"Free throws were instrumental in us finishing the game," Dyson said.
Not just one girl knocked down the free throws for Tahlequah late in the game. It was a combination of Lindsay Wade, Marisa Girdner and Wright all netted big free throws.
Coweta would not go without a fight while trialing by four with 25 seconds left. Coweta drove the floor kicked it to the right wing and knocked down a three pointer cutting the Tahlequah lead to just one.
With eight seconds left, Coweta trailed by three after Wright buried two free throws. In a one-possession game, Coweta brought the ball down, but Tahlequah trapped Coweta and fouled. Then with little time left on the clock, Coweta called timeout and set up a play, which yielded a missed 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
"Girls are figuring their roles out," Dyson said.
Wade led Tahlequah in scoring with 11 points.
Boys: Tahlequah 53, Coweta 32
In the boys matchup, Tahlequah finished the sweep of Coweta with 53-32 rout. Tahlequah completely dominated, beating the 12th-ranked Coweta Tigers with magnificent shooting to go along with solid defensive pressure.
"Our defensive effort allowed us to get easy looks on the offensive end," Tahlequah coach Pat Dotson said.
After a slow start in the first quarter, Tahlequah got going in the latter half of the quarter taking the lead from Coweta 15-11 as the buzzer sounded for the first time.
It was the second quarter that Tahlequah dominated from start to finish as the Tigers out scored Coweta 18-4 in the second quarter to take a 33-15 lead into the half.
"We had a big second quarter - one of the few times this season that we have offensively got after someone in the second quarter," Dotson said.
Leading the attack in the second quarter for Tahlequah was Kourt McMillian as he drained two 3-point shots to stretch Tahlequah’s lead in the second quarter. McMillian ended up with eight points on the night for Tahlequah.
With Tahlequah leading after two quarters, Coweta sought to pressure Tahlequah and force turnovers early in the second half, but instead Tahlequah broke free for open shots that they knocked down. Not only did Tahlequah not turnover the ball in the third quarter, but Tahlequah also limited turnovers throughout the night, turning it over just four times on the night.
Matt Alberty had a huge night for Tahlequah as he lead the Tigers with 13 points.
"The best thing that this win does for us is keeps us hungry," Dotson said.
Both Tahlequah teams will continue in Metro Lakes Conference play with a pair of road games at Pryor on Tuesday night.