MUSKOGEE - Tahlequah junior Nikki Girdner hit a pair of free throws with .8 seconds left in the game to give the Lady Tigers a 47-45 victory over the Hilldale Lady Hornets in the Consolation Championship game of the 26th Annual Bedouin Shrine Classic Saturday at Major Ron D. Milam Memorial Gymnasium on the campus of Muskogee High School.

With the win the Lady Tigers have now won four of their last five games, improving their record to 4-4.

“I was very proud of the girls,” said head coach Mindy Madewell-Moseley. “We came out sloppy in the first half, but made a few changes at the half which sparked the kids.”

Tahlequah trailed for most of the first period, but took a 13-12 lead after the first eight minutes, thanks to a field goal by Senior Ana Poteete.

The Lady Tigers controlled the paint throughout the game, but Hilldale got hot from the outside to take a 27-21 lead into the halftime locker room.

The adjustments made by Madewell-Moseley gave the Lady Hornets fits in the second half.

“We threw a lot of different things at them and our girls adjusted well,” said Madewell-Moseley. “We mixed up playing zone and man defense and Hilldale couldn’t figure things out.”

The Lady Tigers shaved the lead from five points to a single point, outscoring the Lady Hornets 16-11 in the third and trailed 38-37 heading into the final stanza.

The teams exchanged the lead several times in the second half. Senior Cakie Lenard was the go-to girl for Tahlequah. The senior scored a game high 20 points despite still suffering from a hand injury incurred during the last week before Christmas break.

The Lady Tiger defense did a great job contributing to the win.

“The girls played good defense, pressing most of the game. Cakie had five steals and five rebounds and Nikki had five rebounds,” said Madewell-Moseley.

Tahlequah grabbed a big rebound and looked for the final shot with the score tied at 45.

Girdner drove the lane and was fouled, sending her to the charity stripe where she connected on both shots to seal the Lady Tigers’ consolation title.

“We played very well in the tournament,” said Madewell-Moseley. “We could have won all three games, but got unlucky that first night missing a couple of free throws that would have won the game for us. The consolation championship is something the girls will cherish and deserve, but the biggest prize we could ever achieve was giving to the Shriners’ cause.”

Tahlequah vs. Hilldale

Tahlequah 13 8 16 10 - 47

Hilldale 12 15 11 7 - 45

Tahlequah - Cakie Lenard 20, Ana Poteete 7, Shelbi Bowin 7, Nikki Girdner 5, Katie Atkins 4, Tavarie Hamilton 2, Amanda Lewallen 2

Hilldale - Kyla Morris 13, Carissa Butterfield 11, Becca Bargsten 9, Leah Coons 6, Jenni Saghi 4, Kim Meadows 2


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