Fort Gibson 61,
The Tigers took advantage of an injury to Stilwell’s Matt Lea to avenge a 68-64 loss the Stilwell Indians last week in a regional first-round game to advance to the Class 4A Area IV consolation finals.
Lea suffered the injury to his ankle with 5:44 remaining in the second quarter and the Indians leading 27-23. The Tigers closed out the remainder of the quarter with an 11-4 run to take a 34-31 lead at intermission.
“That’s unfortunate for Matt, he’s a good kid,” said Fort Gibson coach Gary Hendrix. “We played well. We started moving the ball in the second half to take advantage of Lea’s injury. Plus we switched to a 3-2 zone and forced them to make shots.”
The Tigers, 24-4 and No. 6 in Class 4A, opened the third quarter with a 9-0 run to push their lead to 43-31 over the Indians (15-11) before Lea returned to the floor with 4:23 left. By the time the quarter ended, Fort Gibson had a 47-38 advantage.
“The key to the second half was their big guy getting hurt,” said Jordan London, who finished with a game-high 19 points. “They were also making everything in the first half and missing shots in the second. Also in the second half, we spread out our offense so we could drive and penetrate.”
The Tigers are now one win away from the state tournament and will play Muldrow at 8 p.m. tonight and London knows the importance of the next game.
“This feels so good,” he said. “I don’t even know what to say.”