By Kenton Brooks
Phoenix Sports Writer
FORT GIBSON — Jordan Hill said he was mad at himself for missing a shot at the end of the first half.
But he didn’t make a habit of it.
Following the missed layup with seven seconds to play, Hill came back out to sink all five of his third-quarter attempts en route to a team-high 19 points in helping the Fort Gibson Tigers down the Jay Bulldogs 79-58 in the Verdigris Valley Conference game and Tiger home opener Thursday night at Harrison Field House.
“I didn’t know I shot like that,” he said of his perfect third quarter. “I’ve been working a lot harder on my shooting, especially with my left hand.”
Fort Gibson, No. 12 in the Okrankings.com poll, 7-2 overall and 4-0 in conference, outscored Jay (1-9, 0-3) 24-15 in the period for a 61-36 lead going into the final quarter.
Coach Gary Hendrix has been pleased with Hill’s progress.
“The thing about Jordan is that he’s gotten stronger from last year to this year,” Hendrix said. “He’s also doing a good job in getting to the rim. He’s a good athlete who jumps well.”
Hill was one of three players to score in double figures. Eric Hudson had 16 and Jake Gandara, the Most Valuable Player on the All-Phoenix football team, added 11.
Hill might’ve been upset with himself at the end of the first half, but the Tigers didn’t sweat the miss, having pulled away in the second period. Leading 14-13 after one quarter, the Tigers pounded Jay 23-8 in the second for a 37-21 lead as the teams went to the locker room.
Will Robertson, a 6-foot sophomore, paced the Bulldogs with 19 points. Jordan Sweeney scored 18 and Kalen Brown had 10.
Fort Gibson’s teams are back on the court next Thursday at the Oologah Tournament. Both teams face Dewey as the boys play at 5 p.m. and the girls at 6:30. Opponents weren’t available.
Fort Gibson 83, Jay 32
Hannah Cantrell isn’t a bad swimmer, and she’s turning into a good basketball player.
Her game-high 13 points helped the 4A No. 2 Lady Tigers (9-0, 5-0) dump the team they beat in last year’s regional finals.
Cantrell. a member of the Lady Tigers’ state champion swimming team, is a little hesitant to brag about her offensive skills.
“I don’t know what I bring to this team,” he said. “I usually score two or four points per game. It felt pretty good scoring. It was definitely different as I’m more defensive-oriented.”
Coach Jerry Walker said he’s been talking to Cantrell about shooting and scoring more.
“She could be the missing link to making us a complete team,” he said. “We’ve always known she could play defense, but I’ve always felt like she could shoot it. She just has to believe she can shoot it.
“Her doing that makes us a more lethal team. Her jump shot is as good as any we’ve had.”
Cantrell was one of four Lady Tigers in double figures. The others were Brooke Palmer (12), Jayme Hill (11) and Taylor London (10).
Fort Gibson jumped out to an 8-0 lead on the way to a 20-6 lead after one quarter and 41-21 halftime lead against the Lady Bulldogs (1-9, 0-5).
Adrianna Cornell led the Lady Bulldogs with nine.