SPIRO 72, HASKELL 51 – The Bulldogs (8-5) were just too athletic for the Haymakers in the 72-51 win in the Small School Boys semifinal at Muskogee High School’s Ron Milam Gymnasium.
Four players scored in double figures for the Bulldogs with McKinley Whitfield leading the way with 18 points. He had eight of that in the third quarter.
The others were Tim Perry (16), Jermaine Jimmerson (14) and Knighe Rhoden (10).
Alex Wheeland scored a team-high 13 points and 6-foot-6 Michael Love added 12 for the Haymakers. Wheeland also had eight assists and two steals, while Love had 12 rebounds and four blocked shots.
Spiro led 23-14 after the first quarter and then ripped the Haymakers 21-7 in the second period for a 44-21 halftime advantage.
The Haymakers are in the Civic Center at 10:30 a.m. today against Hulbert in the third place game.
The Bulldogs play Oktaha at 6 p.m. today at the Civic Center for the championship.
– Kenton Brooks
OKTAHA 66, HULBERT 58 – Picking on an opponent’s injured player is sometimes a good strategy for victory. But it didn’t work out so well for the Hulbert Riders as they fell to the undefeated and 2A No. 2 Oktaha at the Civic Center.
Oktaha senior point guard Blake Pittman, still nursing a dislocated shoulder, couldn’t find the range from the field for the Tigers, going 0 for 10 on the night. But in an effort to close a 10-point gap in the fourth quarter, the Riders decided to pick on the struggling Pittman by fouling him. There, he turned on them as he sank 10 of 12 from the line in the fourth quarter to help the Tigers to the win.
Dustin Leach picked up the slack from the field as he tallied 23 points in the game and acknowledged the value of teamwork.
“Our offense and defense both struggled tonight but we pulled through,” said Leach. “That’s what good teams do and we were glad to get the win.”
Hulbert actually led early in the second half, but the Tigers(13-0) went on an 11-6 run and led by eight 43-35 after three quarters.
Chris Vance led the scoring for Hulbert (2-5) with 15 points while Christian McIntosh with 14, Pittman with 12 and Caleb Shoemake with 10 were in double figures for the Tigers, who will defend their Small School title against Spiro at 6 tonight at the Civic Center.
– Nick Hampton