By Kenton Brooks
Phoenix Sports Writer
PORTER — In a defensive battle, Oktaha was better on Tuesday night.
The Tigers held Porter’s Jacob Richardson to a season-low 11 points in the 49-44 victory against the Pirates at Porter’s gym. The six-foot senior guard has been averaging 32 points per game, including a season-high 51 against Bristow at the Mounds Tournament this past weekend.
But in Tuesday’s game, he made only 4 of 20 shots from the field.
“They switched to a box-and-one defense at the end of the game,” Richardson said. “They played zone at the beginning. It was a tough game. Oktaha’s a good team and plays good defense.”
That was music to Oktaha coach Jim Glover’s ears as his Tigers, the Mounds Tournament champion and ranked No. 4 in the Okrankings.com poll this week, improved to 17-2.
“We came in tonight with the mindset of where we’re going to make them earn everything they did,” he said. “I thought we did a really good job defensively.”
A fourth-place finisher at the Mounds Tournament, the Pirates drop to 13-5.
Cody Winkle led the Pirates with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting and made all four of his 3-point attempts.
Oktaha took the lead for good at 31-30 on Dustin Leach’s 3-pointer with 24.3 seconds left in the third quarter. The Tigers outscored the Pirates 18-14 in the final period.
The Tigers were led by Blake Pittman’s 14 points and Christian McIntosh’s 10. Pittman scored 10 of his points in the final quarter.
“It was a scary game but we came out with the win,” Pittman said.
Before the end of the third period, Porter led 13-9 after the first quarter and 23-19 at halftime.
The Tigers also won the rebounding battle as Caleb Shoemake had 10 boards, while McIntosh and Devon Fry had nine each. Winkle led Oktaha with 11.
Oktaha and Porter return home for their next games. The Tigers and Lady Tigers have their homecoming against Crowder on Friday, while Porter meets Midway on Thursday.
Oktaha 55, Porter 22
The 2A No. 6 Lady Tigers (17-1), who also won the Mounds Tournament, scored the first seven points of the game and 29-2 advantage at halftime en route to the victory against the Lady Pirates (3-14).
Oktaha coach Chester Pittman cleared his bench early in the second half as 11 players scored at least two points.
“We were just trying to get our legs back under us,” Pittman said. “We wanted to give everyone an opportunity to play. You have to get better by the playoffs. That’s all we’re trying to do.”
Jordan Austin led the Lady Tigers with 12 points and Kelsey Cantwell added 10.
Tanisha Carmichael scored a team-high 10 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Lady Pirates. It was Porter’s first home game since Dec. 18. Only seven players suited out for Porter.
“We’ve been trying to get back into a groove, but we’ve had players leave the program because of health or sick relatives. It’s been tough,” Porter coach Bill Nobles said.