By Kenton Brooks
Phoenix Sports Writer
MOUNDS – Chester Pittman reflected on picking up his 600th career victory at the Mounds Tournament on Friday night.
“You think back to all of the great players,” the Oktaha coach said after his Lady Tigers topped the Bristow Lady Pirates 61-40 in the semifinals. “The 600 wins can go to a lot of kids.”
Pittman has a 600-122 career record in 24 years as a head coach, all at Oktaha.
His current group certainly has had their share of Ws.
The Lady Tigers, ranked fourth in the Okrankings.com Class 2A poll this week, improved to 15-1.
Oktaha used a 7-0 scoring run in the first four minutes of the second quarter, increasing its lead from 18-15 at the end of the first quarter to a 25-15 advantage with 3:56 left in the first half. The Lady Tigers led 32-19 at halftime.
“They had made a run on us and we turned right around and made adjustment on our defense,” Pittman said. “We wanted to stop giving them an easy look. That kind of got us jump-started when we did that.”
Oktaha and Pittman will face Haskell (9-7) in the championship game at 7 tonight.
“This group does about as much as getting the most out of each individual player as I’ve had in a long time,” said Pittman. “We’re not as athletic as we have been, but they really play well together.”
Lanessa Grayson scored a game-high 21 points to lead the way to the milestone win. Jaylie Roper added 16.
Grayson said she didn’t realize the significance of the game for her coach until it was announced after the game as the teams walked off the floor.
“He’s a great coach,” she said. “Even though he’s hard on us, he wants us to do well. I wouldn’t play for anybody else. The harder he is, the better we play.”
Courtney Leach led Bristow (6-11) with 16 points and Taylor Conkling added 11.
Haskell had four players in double figures to beat Glenpool 66-57. Sherrell McHenry led the Lady Haymakers with 18 points. Tashay Love had 14, Denora Wheeland scored 13 – all on free throws -- and Maddie Cheatham added 11.
McHenry also had 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double this season.
“We played under control and when we do that, we’re a better team,” Haskell coach Rick Kirkhart said. “We hope that carries over to the finals, but we know Oktaha is a good team. We just hope to stay in the game.”
Porter’s girls lost 52-32 to Summit Christian. Cierra Richardson led the Lady Pirates with 15. Checotah defeated Mounds 45-34 for its second win in 15 games as Katie Smith had a team-high 10 points.
Checotah plays Summit Christian at 1 p.m. for the consolation championship and Porter meets Mounds at 10 a.m. for seventh place.
Coach Jim Glover doesn’t know how many career victories he has, but he’s going to fondly remember his latest win as his Oktaha Tigers trampled the Glenpool Warriors 70-45 in one semifinal.
Glover has reason to be happy as his 2A No. 4 Tigers improved to 15-2 and beat a Class 4A foe in doing so.
”It was a big win for us and against a good 4A team,” Glover said. “I told the kids we had to play well and we did. We put together a full game tonight.”
The Tigers play Checotah (10-6) for the championship at 8:30 tonight.
Oktaha jumped out to a 21-9 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. The Tigers led 39-20 at halftime.
Three players scored in double figures with Blake Pittman leading the way with 20 points. Christian McIntosh had 19 and Dustin Leach added 14.
McIntosh also had a team-high eight rebounds.
“Everything was clicking for us,” he said. “Everything was falling for us and we also were intense on defense.”
Checotah beat Porter 64-46 desite 30 points from Porter’s Jacob Richardson.
“Defensively, we tried to slow them down as much as we could,” Checotah coach Jason Dowdy said. “They like to get up and run. We also tried to slow Richardson down a little bit. He’s going to get 30-40 points per game. It’s hard to hold him anything below 30.”
The Pirates (13-3) will play Glenpool (7-9) at 5:30 p.m. today for third place.
Three Wildcats scored in double figures: DeShawn Jackson led the way with 17 points. Cameron Pipe scored 15 and Braylon Warrior added 13.
In the consolation side of the bracket, Haskell beat Mounds 79-61 as Wes Davis had 30 and Michael Love added 25. Summit Christian defeated Bristow 56-45 in the other game.
Haskell will play Summit Christian at 2:30 p.m. for the consolation title.