Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

December 7, 2012

Lady Tigers coast past Sand Springs

At some point this season, Tahlequah will be challenged. It just hasn’t happened thus far through two games.

Class 5A No. 10 Tahlequah won again on Thursday, breezing past Sand Springs, 50-23, in front of a TMAC crowd that was occupied mostly by Tahlequah Middle School students.

Randee O’Donnell, who struggled to hit shots early on, righted herself and led the Lady Tigers with 12 points and eight rebounds as Tahlequah advanced to the semifinals of the UKB Tiger Invitational. The Lady Tigers will take on Moore at 4 p.m. today.

“I didn’t know how we were going to come out and play, because you always hate those early games,” Tahlequah coach Chad Walker said. “But I was proud of the girls, I thought they fought through an early bug and snapped out of it.”

Tahlequah fell into a funk in the first quarter when it allowed Sand Springs to tie the game at 7. From there, it was all Lady Tigers.

Tahlequah (2-0) closed the first period on a 5-0 run and outscored Sand Springs 17-6 in the second quarter.

“We went to a soft press right there,” Walker said. “We got some easy turnovers, instead of just letting them bring it up the floor.”

After only posting eight points in Tahlequah’s season-opening win over Skiatook, O’Donnell went 5 of 11 from the floor while also dishing out four assists.

“If Randee doesn’t score in double digits, you wonder what’s going on,” Walker said. “She’s just a baller.”

Also scoring in double figures for Tahlequah was Jhonett Cookson, who had 11 points to go along with eight rebounds. Whitney Wright also chipped in with 10 points and six rebounds.

“Whitney comes in and does a good job,” Walker said. “I tell them I want to attack the basket, and I know Whitney is going to do it.”

The Lady Tigers did struggle to knock down shots, shooting 29 percent (20 of 69) from the field. However, Sand Springs was worse at 10 of 45 (22.2 percent).

Tahlequah did dominate the rebounding department with 45, compared to Sand Springs’ 33.

Sand Springs was led by Morgan Pennington’s 10 points, all of which came in the first half. The Lady Sandites will take on Muskogee junior varsity today at 10 a.m.

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