MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

November 20, 2013

Oktaha sweeps season openers

Tigers reach century mark in home romp

OKTAHA – Oktaha boys coach Jim Glover wants his team to focus on defense and that’s what he got for the most part in Tuesday’s season opener versus Crowder.

The Tigers forced the Demons into 18 turnovers in downing Crowder 103-57 in Oktaha’s gym.

“We’re going to try and make it a 94-foot game,” Glover said. “The effort was there tonight and they played really, really hard. We had a lot of mistakes but you can’t fault the effort.”

The win was also career win No. 400 for Glover. When alerted to the fact after the game, he was humbled.

“Yeah, it’s good to get it now,” he said. “But a win’s a win. We got to get over this one and get ready. We come back after Thanksgiving in a tournament and we’ve got to be ready to play.”

The Tigers started the game riding the hot hand of Dustin Leach as he hit his first four shots, two from 3-point range, to give Oktaha a 23-11 advantage at the end of the first quarter. By the time the second quarter ended, Leach had 20 points and was 7-of-16 from the field, 4-of-9 from beyond the arc, and the Tigers were leading 47-23.

“It just comes to me,” Leach said. “I’ll get out there and if I’ve got an open shot, I’ll take it unless I see a teammate that’s closer. Some days you’re on, some days you’re off and tonight was one of the days I was on.”

Meanwhile, the Tigers’ defense was still keeping the pressure on as it held Crowder (2-2) to 23 points in the first half, forcing 11 turnovers and limiting the Demons to 32 percent shooting.

“We had a strategy going in that we were going to pick up full court,” said Leach who finished with a game-high 33 points. “We weren’t going to let them breathe at all. Coach told us to not give them an inch and that’s what we did.”

Two other Tigers reached the double figure plateau as Will Coplan and Michael Yahola had 10 points each. As a team, the Tigers shot 52 percent, hitting 44 of 84 shots including eight of 22 3-point attempts.

When the fourth quarter rolled around, the Tigers had built an 81-39 advantage and the only question was would they score 100 points. That question was answered with 1:24 remaining when Dylan Corley put in a layup to give the Tigers a 101-55 edge.

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