EDMOND — Deer Creek’s 10-3 run to begin the second quarter gave the Antlers significant clearance to pull away from Tahlequah for a formidable 71-45 triumph in a Class 5A regional opener Friday night at Deer Creek High School. The Antlers tip off in the championship tonight at 7 p.m. on their home court against Northwest.
Deer Creek 6-4 senior Tyler Haddock began the second stanza with back-to-back buckets, Elyjah Clark hit a short jumper and Haddock came running in for a tip-in off the glass to put the Antlers up 26-11 with 2:37 to go before intermission.
Tahlequah’s Matt Alberty stepped in and nailed a very long-range 3-pointer from the right wing to keep the Tigers alive trailing 26-14, but Deer Creek outsized Tahlequah and walked into the locker room with a 33-17 cushion.
Haddock scored a game-high 20 points (9 in the third quarter) and teammates Conner Avants (15), Noah McGraw (14), Josh Stokesberry (13, 2 3s) and Clark (12) all found double digits in the contest.
Deer Creek 71, Tahlequah 45
Tahlequah 8 9 15 13—45
Deer Creek 16 17 17 21—71
Tahlequah — Matt Alberty 17, Carlile 14, Faddis 4, Dobbins 3, Darth Vader 3, Smith 2, Kelley 1, Craig 1.
Deer Creek — Tyler Haddock 20, Conner Avants 15, Noah McGraw 14, Josh Stokesberry 13, Elyjah Clark 12, Brett Valentine 4, Rehl 1.