Four area teams are perfect after the first weeklong tournament action and three call themselves Tigers.
Fort Gibson’s girls are 6-0 after winning the Jerry Oquin Tournament in Inola for a third straight year, beating Verdigris 49-43.
“I’ve been pleased. We’ve really battled through our lack of game experience with this group so far,” FGHS coach Jerry Walker said. “You take the three starters we lost (from two state finals appearances and a 2011 state title) and that in itself may not seem like a great deal except when you realize that those three have been heavily involved in our program for a long part of their careers,” he said. “Add all that up and you lose so much game experience. We’ve got a lot of ability in this group, just not the game experience.
Oktaha’s girls (No. 4 in 2A) continued their dominance of the Crowder Invitational, winning for the ninth time in at least 10 years and fourth in a row to move to 7-0. Frankly, coach Chester Pittman’s team has found tournament play to their liking for some time, winning all but four tournaments up to the state tourney week since 2003.
“We’re playing real well together with a lot of young kids blending in well,” Pittman said of his squad, which lost two full-time and a third part-time starter from a once-beaten quarterfinalist in 2A.
The 70-47 win over Wilburton helped them keep pace with their male counterparts, also 7-0 after a winning the tournament. The boys lost a rare event in Crowder two seasons ago. The Tiger boys (No. 2 in 2A) rallied from 12 points down at the half to beat Tushka 48-40 in the finals.
Also, Hulbert’s girls are 5-0 after putting the clamps on Oaks, 39-29 to win the Greenleaf Invitational in Porum.