February 2, 2014

Supporting cast shines as Lady Tigers dominate

February 2, 2014 By Mike Kays Phoenix Sports Editor

FORT GIBSON – When you’re No. 1, minutes are golden and hard-earned.

Grace Parker knows this, and she’s given some golden effort on defense to find her way into the mix for defending Class 4A champion Fort Gibson.

Parker was a constant amongst a mix of four Lady Tigers that spent the night harassing whoever dribbled for the Sallisaw Lady Diamonds, helping her team cruise  to a 75-41 win at Harrison Field House on Saturday.

Parker had three steals and caused numerous others as she’s caught on as a key component in the Lady Tigers’ starting lineup.

“Our pressure on the ball is pretty tough, that’s no secret, but it starts with Grace Parker,” FGHS coach Jerry Walker said.

“You could not ask her to play any harder. She came off the bench for us the first semester and became a catalyst defensively – and how could we keep her off the floor after that. She makes things happen.

“All the time she was sitting she never pouted, played hard every chance she got, and to me that serves as a good role model for everyone on the bench. It tells them to play your tail off when you get the chance.”

Parker had three steals and 11 points. Allie Glover matched her point total and contributed five thefts. Savannah Gray had three steals and 10 points.

Helping out those three starters was Aaliyah Dailey-Lee. The sophomore showed she’s paying attention to what Walker was talking about with three steals and 8 points.

“We just have a lot of teamwork,” Parker said. “We work and talk and know who’s going to be up there and everyone does their jobs.”

 In all, Sallisaw turned the ball over 27 times. Fourteen occurred in the opening half, which saw the Lady Tigers take a 37-17 lead to the locker room.

A 10-0 run in the first three minutes of the second half pushed the lead to 30. Desiree Phipps, who finished with a game-high 24 points to give Fort Gibson four double-figure scorers on the night, had her final 13 in the third quarter. Included in that was a 3-pointer with 5:10 to go to make it 47-17. She watched from the bench in the fourth quarter.

It wasn’t until the lead reached 30 that Bailey Morgan got going for Sallisaw (10-8), which lost at home to the Lady Tigers 60-41 on Monday. She had 10 of her team-high 11 points in the final five minutes of the third quarter.

The win was Fort Gibson’s 21st consecutive dating back to the 4A area consolation finals last March, moving them to 17-0 on the year.

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