Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

February 6, 2013

Wright comes up big as Tigers win

Late turnover proves costly for Tahlequah girls in loss to Collinsville.

COLLINSVILLE — Here is all you need to know about Tahlequah’s fourth quarter against Collinsville: Lain Wright.

Wright scored all nine of the Tigers’ final period points and he did it in dramatic fashion. Wright’s four steals in the final four minutes blunted the Collinsville momentum to eke out a 39-38 Metro Lakes Conference boys basketball victory Tuesday night.

Tahlequah improved to 4-6 in league and 7-13 overall, but nearly gave the game away. Collinsville (4-12, 3-6) erased a 15-point deficit and held the lead three times in the final 2:52.

But, Wright would not allow the Tigers to lose and began his thieving ways.

“It was definitely crazy,” said Wright, who finished with a game-high 19 points. “We didn’t come out ready to play in the third quarter.”

Wright came out ready in the fourth quarter, however.

Steals and points at the 1:14 and 18-second mark by Wright were devastating. On three fourth-quarter steals, Wright made baskets and on the fourth he had to make two pressure free throws.

Wright calmly made the free shots for a 39-38 lead.

However, the tension was far from over.

The Cardinals had four shots at the basket in the final 12 seconds from close range, but could not buy a basket. The last attempt was rebounded by Dalton Cunningham to preserve the win.

“It makes you better to win by one than by 41,” Tahlequah coach Mike Greenleaf said. “They gutted it out. We missed shots and lay-ups, but I’m proud of them. They did what it took to finish.”

The Tigers got a scare when Matt Alberty dislocated his little finger late in the game, but it was returned to its normal position quickly.

Only Wright scored more than 10 points for the Tigers. Jake Vader followed with six and David Dick had four.

Kendall Curtis’ 10 points led Collinsville. Nate Johnson had a game-high 11 rebounds for the Cardinals.

“This was one of my better defensive games,” Wright added.

Collinsville knows that all too well.

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