, Muskogee, OK


March 8, 2014

Ready for a rock fight? OT loss by FTG sets up battle with rival for state

WILBURTON — Call it déjà vu if you want to but the No. 1 Fort Gibson Lady Tigers aren’t happy with it.

Last year, they were undefeated and playing in the Class 4A Area IV championship game, losing to Byng. Friday in Wilburton, the Lady Tigers were undefeated and suffered the same fate, this time falling to No. 5 Ada 33-30 in overtime in the area championship game.

“Two years in a row we have not shot the ball well in the area Friday night game,” said Fort Gibson coach Jerry Walker. “Last year from the 3-point line we were 5 for 30-something and tonight we were pretty close to that.”

Fort Gibson (26-1) finished the game 6 for 19 from beyond the arc (31.5 percent) and 12 of 40 overall (30 percent) for the game. Ada (21-5) on the other hand was 6 of 17 from long range (35.2 percent) and 9 of 34 overall (26.5 percent.

The game started with both teams clamping down on defense. By the end of the first quarter, the Lady Cougars held a 4-3 lead. By the time the two squads headed into the locker room, Fort Gibson trailed 13-12.

The third quarter went in favor of the Lady Tigers as they outscored Ada 11-9 to grab a 23-22 advantage with eight minutes left. As the clocked ticked down at the end of the fourth quarter, Fort Gibson found itself trailing 28-25 but Desiree Phipps tied the game with 1:40 left at 28-28 with a 3 from the top of the circle.

Fort Gibson had two chances at the end of the quarter to win the game in regulation but could not get off a shot.

The loss by the Lady Tigers sets up a battle for the Rock, girls basketball style, for a berth in the state tournament with Hilldale, a 57-52 winner over Poteau on Friday. Fort Gibson will be looking for its 10th straight trip to state while the Lady Hornets are in search of their first berth.

Phipps led the Lady Tigers with 13 points. She understands the task at hand.

“We just have to forget about tonight,” she said. “We need to come out tomorrow ready to win.”

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