Tigers, Lady Tigers finish strong in Bethany

Byron Beers | Daily Press

Tahlequah senior point guard Kynli Heist scored a career-high 22 points in the Lady Tigers' 64-50 win over Catoosa Saturday in Bethany.

Hayden Wagers scored 16 points and Jaxon Jones added 13 to carry Tahlequah to a 57-52 upset win over Class 5A No. 8 Piedmont Saturday in the fifth-place game of the Bethany Basketball Classic.

The Tigers, now ranked 10th in 5A, went 2-1 over three days in Bethany and improve their overall mark to 7-3 under head coach Duane Jones. They defeated Western Heights, 62-46, on Friday after falling to Oklahoma City Casday, 67-42, in their opener on Thursday.

Wagers and Jaxon Jones each gave sparks in the first half. Wagers, who was coming off a season-best 20 points against Western Heights, scored nine of his points in the second quarter and helped THS get out to 36-22 halftime lead. Jones had nine points in the opening eight minutes.

Junior forward Tanner Christian was also in double figures for the Tigers with 10 points. Hunter Brinkley finished with six points.

The Tigers return to Metro Lakes Conference play Tuesday when they host No. 7 Collinsville (8-3, 4-1) in a 7:30 p.m. tipoff at the Tahlequah Multipurpose Activity Center. Tahlequah is unbeaten at 4-0 in conference games.

Lady Tigers claim third place: Tahlequah bounced back from a 57-48 semifinal loss to Holland Hall on Friday and defeated Catoosa, 64-50, in Saturday’s third-place game at the Bethany Basketball Classic.

The Class 5A, seventh-ranked Lady Tigers, now 7-3 overall under head coach David Qualls, received a career-high 22 points from senior point guard Kynli Heist and 20 points from guard Kacey Fishinghawk. Heist scored 13 of her points in the first half and connected on five 3-pointers, while Fishinghawk added four 3s, three in the first half.

Sophomore forward Faith Springwater joined Heist and Fishinghawk in double figures with 12 points, and senior forward Kloe Bowin ended with seven.

Tahlequah started to take control in the second quarter, outscoring the Lady Indians, 13-4, to take a 30-18 lead into halftime. Heist buried two of her 3-pointers and added a pair of free throws, Fishinghawk knocked down a 3, and Springwater had a field goal.

The Lady Tigers return home to face Collinsville (3-9) in a 5:30 p.m. start on Tuesday. Tahlequah is 3-1 in Metro Lakes Conference play, while the Lady Cardinals are 2-3.

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