MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

February 12, 2013

Long-distance saviour: Tie-breaking 3-pointer propels Fort Gibson boys past Locust Grove

FORT GIBSON — Jordan London of Fort Gibson said he and his teammates work hard on 3-point shooting.

“Coach (Gary) Hendrix always has us do extra shooting and we stay after it,” he said. “It really helps us a lot. We hit some shots tonight.”

London may have hit the biggest shot from beyond the arc as his basket with 6:12 left in the third quarter broke a 32-32 tie en route to the 82-67 victory against the Locust Grove Pirates on Senior Night at Harrison Field House on Monday.

“(Our 3-point) shooting was a big part of the win,”  he said. “My teammates found me open by the way they swing the ball. If I can hit shots, that’s what I like.”

Jordan Hill likes the 3-pointer as well. He sank one at the buzzer at the end of the third quarter to push the Tigers to a 53-49 lead.

London finished with three 3-pointers and Hill added a pair in the game as they scored 28 points each to help the Tigers clinch the Verdigris Valley Conference championship.

Hendrix admits he prefers his players to score closer to the basket, but he’s not going to keep his guys from shooting from long range.

“The game has kind of evolved where you’ve got to hit some of those,” he said. “We hit some. That (shot by London) was big, but they’re all big in close games.”

The Tigers, ranked No. 6 in the Okrankings.com Class 4A poll this week, improved to 19-3 for the season and held off the Locust Grove despite the Pirates’ 3-point shooting. Locust Grove made 10 of 14 shots from beyond the arc including 7 of 9 in the second half.

“They shot really well,” Hendrix said. “We knew they were going to be tough and we had to play really well. I was proud of our kids’ effort.”

Reed Bryant scored 16, Taylor Halpain had 15 and David Stone chipped in 14 for the Pirates. Stone and Halpain had a combined eight 3-pointers.

Fort Gibson’s boys and girls turn their attention to the Class 4A district playoffs when they travel to Jay on Saturday.

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