, Muskogee, OK


January 27, 2013

Oktaha rallies late to down Checotah in Mounds tourney



Haskell Lady Haymakers gave the Oktaha Lady Tigers quite a scare in the championship game.

Oktaha scored six points in the final 63 seconds of the game and took advantage of Haskell turnovers to pull out the 48-45 victory.

Coach Chester Pittman said his team had been in a battle.

“I thought Haskell played extremely well,” he said. “I thought we played badly. I thought they played well enough to win.”

Haskell led 45-44 with 1:03 left in the game, but Lanessa Grayson hit a layup and three free throws and Shea Lynch sank another foul shot to help the Lady Tigers come back. In the meantime, the Haymakers were whistled for a couple turnovers with 57.3 and 25.2 seconds left that coach Rick Kirkhart questioned.

“To get the thunder taken away from you like that, for those two calls, I don’t know where they (the referees) were at,” Kirkhart said.

“I hate it for my girls because they played so hard to get to this point. I’ve never blamed an official, but tonight they were a factor. Coach Pittman knows that.”

Pittman’s Lady Tigers, ranked No. 4 in the poll, improved to 16-1 for the season, escaped with a win.

“We put a little pressure at the end of the game and we were lucky to pull it out,” he said.

Grayson finished with a game-high 21 points.

Nikki Bolding led the Lady Haymakers (9-8) with 16 points and Denora Wheeland added 11 as they led 28-22 at halftime and 38-35 after three quarters.

In the other games, Checotah extended its winning streak to two games and won the consolation championship by beating Summit Christian 55-44 as Grace Terry and Katie Smith led the Lady Wildcats (3-13) with 15 and 12 points, respectively.

In other games, Porter lost 41-16 to Mounds in the seventh-place game and Glenpool turned back Bristow 53-44 for third place.

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