Zack Lindley wasn’t intimidated by Stilwell 6-foot-9 junior Matt Lea..
The 6-1 Tiger scored a team-high 19 points in helping Fort Gibson topple the Indians 58-53 in the semifinals.
“Zack’s a battler. He’s not real big, but he plays a lot bigger than he is,” coach Gary Hendrix said. “He battles the boards really hard. He played well for us tonight. (Stilwell) is bigger than big, but Zack is good with his right and left hand. He was able to get away from Matt a little bit with his left hand.”
Lindley said he was determined to keep shooting even though he gave up eight inches to Lea.
“When he would block my shots, I tried to put them back in,” he said. “I thought I did all right. I just had to do my part for my team to get the W. That’s what was important.”
Fort Gibson, ranked No. 8 in the 4A poll this week, improved to 14-3 and will play defending tournament champion Muldrow (11-5) for the championship at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Tigers were 9-of-12 from the free-throw line in the final 1:55 to keep their distance against the Indians (10-7). Lindley made four of them.
Jordan London had 15 points and Jordan Hill added 14 for the Tigers.
Lea and Brennan Davis had 13 points each. Chase Littlejohn topped Stilwell with 19 points.
In the other semifinal, the Bulldogs of Muldrow beat the Longhorns of Inola, 79-78 as D’Andre Owens sank the game-winning basket at the buzzer. He finished with 18 points.
Nate Hamilton and Colton Keith also scored 18 points each and Hunter Money added 10.
Inola (11-6) faces Stilwell in the third place game at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Garrett Glass led the Longhorns with 18 points. Travis Hall had 16, while Taylor Mootry scored 13 and Aaron Davis added 11.