MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

January 25, 2013

FGHS lands finals berths:Hilldale, Eufaula girls come up short at Old Fort Classic

FORT GIBSON – Eufaula certainly had upset on its mind, but Brooke Palmer and the Fort Gibson Lady Tigers made it only an afterthought.

With the score tied at 27-27 at halftime, the senior scored four points in a Lady Tigers’ 9-2 scoring run to start the third quarter en route to a  55-47 victory against the Lady Ironheads in the semifinals of the Old Fort Classic at Harrison Field House on Thursday night.

The win improved  Fort Gibson’s record to 17-0. Ranked No. 2 in the Okrankings.com Class 4A poll this week, coach Jerry Walker’s squad seeks to win its ninth straight Old Fort Classic championship when it meets Muldrow (13-3) at 7 p.m. Saturday.

“We came out and played pretty good in third quarter,” he said. “We settled down.”

Eufaula first-year coach Jordan Garner knew it was the difference in the game.

“We held our own until that point,” he said. “Good teams are going to make runs. They made a run and we couldn’t respond to it. I’m proud of our effort, but they’ve won 17 in a row for a reason. They’re really good.”

Palmer didn’t want to take all of the credit for the victory.

“I think we really work together well as a team,” Palmer, who finished with a team-high 24 points, said. “When I feel double-teamed, I pass it to the outside and we usually get a good look for a shot.”

Palmer’s four points padded Fort Gibson’s lead to 36-29 with 3:34 left in the third period. Allie Glover added a couple of 3-pointers in the half and finished with 13 points.

Alyssa Banks topped Eufaula with 24 points, scoring 17 in the first half. The Lady Ironheads fell to 11-5 and will play Hilldale at 4 p.m. Saturday for third place.

Hilldale went from 6:22 until 46.5 seconds left in the final quarter without scoring in falling 58-44 to the Muldrow in the other semifinal.

The Lady Hornets  trailed 44-42 after Katie Kirkhart stole the ball and zipped in for a layup with 6:22 left. But the Lady Hornets then fell further behind at 54-42 until Hillary Calvert’s two free throws with 46.5 seconds left in the game cut the deficit to 10 points.

Hilldale coach Scott Hensley respected Muldrow in stifling his Lady Hornets.

“They have tradition of playing hard and tough. That’s what they did,” he said. “When it came down to crunch time, they had more experience than we did.”

In that crunch time, the Lady Hornets (11-6) struggled to score against Muldrow’s zone.

“We just couldn’t make a shot,” freshman Katie Kirkhart said. “We put up the shots and they weren’t going in. The zone hurt us as we didn’t have anybody to drive to the basket. That’s how we score most of our points.”

Kirkhart finished with 14, while Calvert added 12 points.

It will be Muldrow’s second appearance in the finals in last three years. The Lady Bulldogs got 17 points from Alex Butcher and 11 by Erin Edwards.

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