Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

December 2, 2012

Surritte sinks Tahlequah in opener

Lain Wright and A.J. Surritte went blow for blow in front of a raucous crowd at the TMAC on Friday night.

Wright won the battle with a game-high 28 points, but Surritte won the war by draining a go-ahead shot with 11 seconds left, which propelled Skiatook to 63-60 victory in the Metro Lakes Conference opener for both clubs.

“That felt great,” said Surritte, Skiatook’s 6-foot-4 forward who led the Bulldogs with eight rebounds and 26 points on 10 of 23 shooting from the field.

“Some [shots] weren’t falling, but one finally did when it counted.”

That’s for sure.

With time winding down in regulation, Surritte — who, before the last couple of seconds, had been limited to only four points in the second half — dribbled to right and sank a running jumper to break a 60-60 tie. He, then, drained a subsequent free throw after getting fouled to give his club a three-point lead — it’s fourth of the game.

“No. 55 (Wright) switched off of me, so I knew I had to go score,” Surritte said, breaking down the Bulldogs’ final possession. “I knew I had to go to the bucket.”

After Tahlequah called a timeout with six seconds remaining, the Tigers’ Dalton Cunningham and Wright missed a pair of 3-point attempts as time expired.

“We had some good looks and had, statistically, our best shooters taking those shots,” said Tahlequah coach Mike Leafgreen, whose club fell to 0-1 overall and 0-1 in league play. “But they just didn’t fall.”

Ironically, Skiatook took the lead on a possession where the Bulldogs were granted a timeout that they didn’t even want.

“The referee misunderstood and gave us a timeout anyway, even though I wasn’t calling for a timeout,” Skiatook coach Shane Branscum said. “But, we used it to draw up a play for A.J., and he was a man among...he was a senior tonight.”

Surritte’s go-ahead shot came 66 seconds after Tahlequah tied the game up on a Jake Vader free throw. However, the Tigers, after forcing the fourth tie of the game, were unable to take their fifth lead of the game when Vader air-balled his next free-throw attempt.

The possessions that followed Vader’s free throw were turnovers for both clubs. Skiatook lost control of the ball and gave it away on a tie-ball, and Tahlequah handed the ball right back when Wright traveled with 37 seconds left.

The Tigers were lucky to even be in the game after squandering a 14-12 advantage after the first quarter. The second quarter was all Skiatook, outscoring Tahlequah, 27-9, thanks to Surritte’s 15 points and the Tigers’ 10 turnovers in the period.

“First half we didn’t play Tahlequah defense,” Leafgreen said. “We didn’t do anything that we had talked about in pregame, anything we had worked on for three months. I told the guys after the game, ‘great second half, but you can’t spot anyone in 5A 16 points. We can’t spot our eighth-graders 16 points, because they’ll still beat us.’”

The second half was controlled by Tahlequah, with the Tigers clawing back in the contest with a 20-13 third period. With nine points in the third quarter, Wright got Tahlequah back in the game.

“The tale was the second quarter; we didn’t do things we wanted to do, offensively and defensively,” said Leafgreen, whose club shot 33.3 percent (20 of 60) from the floor and 15 of 20 (75 percent) from the foul line in the game.

“In the third and fourth quarter, if we had played like that from the start, we would have been fine. Defensively, we made every shot tough. Offensively, we attacked the rim.”

Vader, who was in foul trouble early on, contributed all 13 of his points for the Tigers in the second half. Will Carlile and Cunningham scored six points apiece but combined to shoot 4 of 22 from the floor.

Skiatook’s only other scorer in double figures was Jesse Haynes with 18 points. Garrett Massey added nine points for the Bulldogs (2-0, 1-0).

Skiatook 63, Tahlequah 60

Skia     12     27     13     11     --     63

Tah      14      9     20     17     --     60

Skiatook (2-0, 1-0): A.J. Surritte 26, Jesse Haynes 18, Garrett Massey 9, Jake Surritte 6, Estes 2, Lester 2, Knight 1, Upton 1.

Tahlequah (0-1, 0-1): Lain Wright 28, Jake Vader 13, Carlile 6, Cunningham 6, Alberty 4, Dick 3.

1
Text Only
Sports
Poll

What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Stocks