MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

February 12, 2013

Long-distance saviour: Tie-breaking 3-pointer propels Fort Gibson boys past Locust Grove

By Kenton Brooks
Phoenix Sports Writer

— FORT GIBSON — Jordan London of Fort Gibson said he and his teammates work hard on 3-point shooting.

“Coach (Gary) Hendrix always has us do extra shooting and we stay after it,” he said. “It really helps us a lot. We hit some shots tonight.”

London may have hit the biggest shot from beyond the arc as his basket with 6:12 left in the third quarter broke a 32-32 tie en route to the 82-67 victory against the Locust Grove Pirates on Senior Night at Harrison Field House on Monday.

“(Our 3-point) shooting was a big part of the win,”  he said. “My teammates found me open by the way they swing the ball. If I can hit shots, that’s what I like.”

Jordan Hill likes the 3-pointer as well. He sank one at the buzzer at the end of the third quarter to push the Tigers to a 53-49 lead.

London finished with three 3-pointers and Hill added a pair in the game as they scored 28 points each to help the Tigers clinch the Verdigris Valley Conference championship.

Hendrix admits he prefers his players to score closer to the basket, but he’s not going to keep his guys from shooting from long range.

“The game has kind of evolved where you’ve got to hit some of those,” he said. “We hit some. That (shot by London) was big, but they’re all big in close games.”

The Tigers, ranked No. 6 in the Okrankings.com Class 4A poll this week, improved to 19-3 for the season and held off the Locust Grove despite the Pirates’ 3-point shooting. Locust Grove made 10 of 14 shots from beyond the arc including 7 of 9 in the second half.

“They shot really well,” Hendrix said. “We knew they were going to be tough and we had to play really well. I was proud of our kids’ effort.”

Reed Bryant scored 16, Taylor Halpain had 15 and David Stone chipped in 14 for the Pirates. Stone and Halpain had a combined eight 3-pointers.

Fort Gibson’s boys and girls turn their attention to the Class 4A district playoffs when they travel to Jay on Saturday.



Girls:

FGHS 60, LG 38


Brooke Palmer and the No. 2 Lady Tigers (22-0) are definitely ready for the playoffs.

The 5-foot-10 Palmer poured in a game-high 25 points to power the Lady Tigers to the win. She sank 8 of 14 shots from the field.

“We’ve gotten better but I think we can get better before we start the playoffs,” she said. “I’m really excited. I think we’ve been working well as a team right now. I want my team to depend on me.”

Jerry Walker, the Lady Tigers’ coach, can tell his team is gearing up for the postseason.

“In our last two games, I can see signs of the old Fort Gibson coming out,” he said. “That was a good Locust Grove team, but we got on them tonight.”

The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 19-2 lead in the first quarter and led 33-16 at halftime en route to the victory.

Madison Davis topped the Lady Pirates (12-10) with 14 points on 4 of 14 shooting from the field.