Facing Fort Gibson for the second time this season, the Coweta Lady Tigers had a cold night offensively in the finals of the Muskogee Bedouin Shrine Tournament Saturday night. A 36-13 second half blitz by Fort Gibson gave them the championship with a 60-28 verdict.
After a competitive first period where the Lady Tigers scored 10 points and Fort Gibson nailed 15, the wheels came off the offense as Coweta only scored 18 more points the final three quarters.
Trailing 24-15 at half, it was all Fort Gibson in the second half.
The Lady Tigers lost to Fort Gibson in the Inola Tournament back in December, 55-37.
Linda Brice led the team with 9 points, followed by Madison Wheat 6, Allyson Mercer 5, Amanda Geneva 2, Hannah Meadows 2 and Alexxia Mercer 2.
“I am proud of the girls for what they’ve accomplished in this tournament. It’s a tough tournament and the girls have shown the fight that they have,” Head Coach Desiree Hall said. “I witnessed the girls playing more as a team. Playing great competition has brought the best out of us as well as highlighting some things we can continue to work on.”
“I believe the girls needed a good outing at this tournament to help set the tone for the remainder of the season and they did just that,” Hall added.
In semi-final action Friday night, the Lady Tigers continued to look more like their old selves. They stormed to a 32-16 halftime advantage over Tulsa East Central and never looked back, rolling into the tournament finals with a 62-33 win.
Brice led the way with 16 points. Others scoring were Lexie Mercer 15, Meadows 12, Ally Mercer 9, Wheat 7 and Alyvia Schumacher 3.
“The girls looked really fluid and as one tonight. They created their own options on offense by knocking down outside shots, short range jumpers, free throws and layups,” Coach Hall said. “They were united and used each other the entire game while remaining patient and taking good shots. We are very proud of the girls, they played hard the entire game.”
Coweta faced Tulsa NOAH in their first round tournament game held Thursday night at the Ft. Gibson Gym and came away with a 59-50 win to advance to the semi-finals. Posting a 33-27 halftime lead, the Tigers cruised to the win.
Brice led the way with 18 points, followed by Lexie Mercer 15, Wheat 9, Meadows 8, Ally Mercer 5 and Geneva 4.
“I look forward to continuing to learn these girls and letting them develop their identity in the game. They played hard, we took much better shots. Linda (Brice) really attacked the rim and Alexxia (Mercer) shot the ball well. Overall, I am very pleased with the effort I saw tonight,” Hall said after the NOAH win.
Early last week, the Lady Tigers traveled to Tahlequah to continue Metro Lakes Conference play. Tahlequah went up 19-9 in the opening period and Coweta was unable to catch up. The Lady Tigers fell 60-39 to even their conference record at 2-2.
Wheat led the scoring with 10, Lexie Mercer, 9, Geneva 6, Brice 5, Ally Mercer 3, Brians 2, Meadows 2 and Cooper Hilton 2.
Beginning her interim coaching assignment with the Lady Tigers, Coach Hall posted on social media Wednesday:
“Our first outing together last night definitely could have been better, however I have full confidence that we will work towards growing the entire season for when it counts. It’s been two years since I’ve coached any basketball and while it’s a little tough getting back into it because it is a skill, just like any other skill it needs practiced.
“I am rusty. I have an amazing husband and peers to help me through the process at an accelerated pace, which I am so thankful for. I look forward to a great season with a great group of girls, we will be better! All of us.”
The Lady Tigers return to conference action Friday night at Collinsville. Coweta will host Pryor Tuesday, Jan. 21.
Coweta 9 11 8 11 — 39
Tahlequah 19 9 15 17 — 60
Muskogee Shriners Tournament
Coweta 16 17 13 13 — 59
Tulsa NOAH 12 15 13 6 — 50
Coweta 15 17 12 18 — 62
East Central 12 4 7 8 — 33
Coweta 10 5 6 7 — 28
Fort Gibson 15 9 19 17 — 60