CATOOSA - The Tahlequah Tigers defeated the Catoosa Indians 46-36 in the Port City Classic Consolation Semi-Finals on Friday afternoon before falling to another Metro Lakes Conference foe, Claremore in the Consolation Championship game 76-54 on Saturday. Tahlequah finished fifth overall in one of the strongest fields in recent memory at the annual tournament, hosted by Catoosa high school.

TAHLEQUAH 46 CATOOSA 36

The Indians set the tempo of the game on their home court Friday afternoon. Using a slow-down offense, Catoosa was able to cut 45 points off the Tiger total they accumulated last Friday in a big Tahlequah home win. Despite the Indians efforts to thwart their fast-paced offense, the Tigers were able to adapt and come away with a 46-36 win.

Tahlequah broke out to a 6-0 lead with freshman Matt Qualls scoring four and senior David Qualls two after six minutes and 21 seconds. Catoosa was finally able to get on the board at 6-2, but Jacob Todd hit a field goal and later a free throw to up the Tahlequah lead to 9-4. The final points of the period came with 2:22 to play as Brad Shankle sent a jumper sailing through the net with his foot just over the three-point line. Giving Tahlequah an 11-4 lead after the first period.

The Qualls brothers combined for the first 11 points of the second period. Matt put in a rebound to begin the second period scoring, raising the Tiger lead to nine. In between a David Qualls free throw, Catoosa was able to put together three three-point shots to get back within four.

David Qualls answered with back-to-back threes, and Matt hit a field goal to raise the Tahlequah advantage to 22-13. Jordan Holderby hit two of four free throws, giving the Tigers their largest lead at 24-14.

Catoosa went on a 7-0 run to end the half trailing 24-21.

The Tahlequah defense stepped things up a notch in the third, holding the host team to five points. The offense was still slowed by Catoosa’s methodical approach, but still managed to go on a 7-0 run. Shankle, and Trice Presley scored two points each and Matt Qualls scored three as the Tigers took a 31-21 lead with 2:21 left in the third.

Three free throws, two by Presley and one by David Qualls helped Tahlequah keep the lead, 34-26, entering the final stanza.

Catoosa scored the first fourth period points to lower the deficit to six.

Matt Qualls scored four on a basket and a pair of free throws and brother David scored four on a pair of jumpers. The Indians closed to within five twice late in the game, but couldn’t get any closer.

Matt ended the game with a free- hrow and a break-away layup at the buzzer to set the final score at 46-36.

Tahlequah 11 13 10 12 - 46

Catoosa 4 17 5 10 - 36

Tahlequah - Matt Qualls 17, David Qualls 16, Brad Shankle 4, Trice Presley 4, Jacob Todd 3, Jordan Holderby 2

CLAREMORE 76 TAHLEQUAH 54

Freshman Matt Qualls scored 25 and brother David Qualls added 11, but that wouldn’t be enough as Tahlequah was overcome by the Claremore Zebras 76-54 in the Consolation Championship of Catoosa’s Port City Classic Saturday afternoon.

Tahlequah (7-6) dropped two of three games in the tournament, but both were to top 10 ranked teams as the young Tigers continued one of their toughest schedules in recent memory.

Claremore jumped out to a 20-11 lead after the first period.

Matt Qualls and Brad Shankle led the Tigers in the first eight minutes. Matt scored four points on a field goal and a pair of free-throws while Shankle added a 3-pointer. David Qualls and Jordan Holderby scored two each.

The Zebras stretched their lead to 40-24 at the half. Matt Qualls had a big second period, scoring eight points with four field goals and adding another from the line for a total of nine of the Tigers 13 points. Jacob Etzkorn added three points and Todd chipped in with two.

The two Metro Lakes conference foes battled evenly in the third, with both teams scoring 18 points. Matt Qualls scored nine with three field goals and three of four shots from the line. David Qualls knocked down a pair of field goals along with a free throw to tally five points. Todd and Shankle scored two each.

With Claremore leading 58-42 heading into the final period, the fatigue from having to play five games in eight days set in, hampering the Tigers come back attempt. Claremore outscored Tahlequah in the final stanza 18-12 to claim the victory.

David Qualls scored four points, all on free-throws, Matt added four, Holderby two and Etzkorn two.

Claremore didn’t give the Tigers any help, hitting 18 of 20 from the free throw line.

“We played hard and I am pretty pleased with the way we played,” said head coach Leroy Qualls. “We will use this experience against Claremore and try to rebound against them when it counts the most in conference play. Considering how much ball we have played in the past week, I think we just got tired, but we never stopped battling.”

Tahlequah continued to be hampered by the absence of junior marksman and defensive wizard Marcus Tyner and the inside play of 6-foot-6 senior J.D. Alberty.

Tahlequah 11 13 18 12 - 54

Claremore 20 20 18 18 - 76

Tahlequah - Matt Qualls 25, David Qualls 11, Brad Shankle 5, Jacob Etzkorn 5, Jacob Todd 4, Jordan Holderby 4

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