By Nick Hampton
OKTAHA – Those half time adjustments that you hear so much about in football work can work pretty well in basketball too – just ask the Oktaha Tigers.
The No. 5-ranked team in Class 2A team used some locker room strategy to turn a close game into a runaway in the second half as the Tigers defeated Quinton 76-59 to capture the Class 2A Area IV District II championship here Saturday night.
“We tried to play way too up tempo in the first half like we wanted to score every ten seconds,” said Oktaha coach Jim Glover. “So we talked about being more patient and moving the ball around better and getting better shots and when that happened we seemed to get some separation.”
Oktaha’s Blake Pittman scored 20 second-half points, including four 3-pointers, to finish with 22 points tying Dustin Leach for game-high honors. Caleb Shoemake also posted double figures with 12 points for the Tigers while.
Quinton (14-10) was led by Brad Davis with 18 points while Preston Ogden had 13 and Tysin Davis added 11.
Oktaha 65, Quinton 26
This one went into the win column early for the No. 8 Lady Tigers (25-1) as Oktaha shot 9-of-11 from the field in the first quarter and raced out to a 19-4 lead and led 44-8 at halftime.
“We had a good first half and got on them pretty good,” said Oktaha coach Chester Pittman. “We came out ready to play and did what we needed to early.”
Oktaha was led by junior Jaylie Roper who had 18 points followed by Lanessa Grayson with 13 points and Kelsey Cantwell came off the bench to add 10 points.
The Lady Tigers ended the game going 27-of-44 (61 percent) from the field while the stiff defense and shoddy ball handling of the Lady Savages limited them to just 9 of 40 shooting (23 percent). Quinton (14-11) was led in scoring by Shelby Brennan with eight points.
The Oktaha teams now advance to the area tournament in Panama next Thursday night with the girls playing at 6:30 and the boys at 8 p.m.