Old Fort

Fort Gibson’s Jenna Whitley grabs the rebound in the Old Fort Classic on Thursday against Tulsa Hale.

 

Coach Jordan Hill’s homecoming was sweet. 

His Hulbert Riders jumped on and held off Fort Gibson’s late charge and knocked his alma mater out of the Old Fort Classic championship hunt with a 57-50 win at Harrison Field House on Thursday.

“It’s special because its so personal,” said the 2013 All-Stater and All-Phoenix standout. “I played for that coaching staff, I’ve got a lot of respect for them and this is such a  good tournament. We won it my senior year and I got to show them my all-state plaques and such. 

“We wanted to come here and see where are biggest flaws are and get better each game. We got better tonight and we  got an opportunity to get better tomorrow.”

The Riders, 8-2 and ranked 13th in Class 2A, will get 3A No. 7 Beggs in the final game Friday for a spot in Saturday’s championship. The Tigers dropped to 6-6 and into an extremely rare consolation round game, playing Hale at 11:30 a.m.

Up 27-21 at the half, the Riders were in position to pull away, up 43-34 with 7 minutes to go in the contest, but withstood a charge led by Jaxon Blunt before putting it away.

Gabe Lewis had 25 points to lead all scorers, including some clutch free throws down the stretch. For Fort Gibson, Blunt had 23 playing in two jerseys. He had to make a change after his original got bloodied with 2:30 to play. 

Blunt hit two free throws at that point, then forced a tie-up that got the Tigers the ball on the possession arrow just seconds later. He took  the inbound pass, dribbled around the right side of the block and his layup turned into a three-point play that made it a 50-49 game with 2:02 to play.

Lewis hit a couple of free throws after being fouled by Max Wicks on a baseline drive with 1:27 to play.  Ethan Chuculate rebounded Seth Rowan’s miss with 53.1 left, and at the other end, Lewis hit two more from the line to make it 54-49 and the issue was all but settled.

Hill thought the bucket-and-one by Lewis was big.

“Our guys have grown so much mentally,” he said. “Three years ago, even last year we would shut down when they started chipping away. Our guys have become fighters.”

Fort Gibson coach Todd Dickerson felt Lewis got away with a foul himself.

“He hooked (Wicks) twice,” but that’s the way it goes. Sometimes you get the calls, sometimes you don’t.

“Jordan’s done a good job, he’s got those four senior starters and I’m looking forward to see what he does with them this year.”

Grant Edwards added 11 for Fort Gibson. Two Riders joined Lewis in double figures — Nolan Edmundson with 13 and Chuculate with 10.

 

•••

 

It was a slow start for Fort Gibson’s girls in a 76-29 win over Tulsa Hale.

Her team holding an 8-6 lead, Gracy Shieldnight got a steal and layup to make it 10-6. 

From that point it was off to the races. 

The Lady Tigers turned up the defensive tempo and went from up 12-6 to a 41-12 halftime lead, then ran off nine unanswered points to start the third to lead 50-12.

“We came out a little flat. We missed some open looks and (Hale) came out and played their hearts out, but finally we got going,” said Fort Gibson coach Chuck London.

The main thing in round one was saving legs — plenty of playing time for everyone.

Recent Sequoyah transfer Jordan Gann led the way with 12 points. Feather Two Shields had 10. Jenna Whiteley had 9 and Kynzi London, Kenzie Snell and Heaven Frost each had 8.

The Lady Tigers, 11-1, No. 5 in Class 4A and winners of seven straight games, will move into the semifinals against Inola (9-2) at 7 p.m. Friday. London expects a different start on Friday.

“This wasn’t our best. I’ll leave it at that,” he said. “I wish we’d come out a little more on fire. But we’re OK, sometimes you have those quarters.”

Hale out of 5A fell to 1-12.

 

Hilldale splits

A gritty fourth-quarter effort saw the shorthanded Hornets (6-3) pull it out over the previously unbeaten 2A No. 4 Oklahoma Union, winning 70-67.

Brayson Lawson, who finished with a game-high 28 points, a personal season-high, hit a 3 with 4:55 left that gave the Hornets a momentary lead at 57-56. The lead switched hands again but the Hornets weren’t done.

Rylan Nail’s putback made it 66-65 with 1:20 to play. Lawson’s poke caused a steal that Evan Smith got, leading to Lawson’s layup with :17 left that put the Hornets back up 67-65.

Smith hit two free throws 69-66,  Dillon Ellis, at line fouled by Eric Virgil, hit the first, intentionally missed the second but Union (12-1) was called for a lane violation. 5 capped the scoring with a free throw.

Smith had 22 points. Rylan Nail  had 6 points but was big as a physical presence inside.

The Hornets were missing leading scorer Ty O’Neal, out on contact tracing quarantine. They were already missing starter Logan Harper (ruptured Achilles) from a week ago.

“Five guys were either hurt or in quarantine, leaving us with nine guys and man, this is why you love high school basketball. You get to see kids take steps and grow up,” Hilldale coach Scott Hensley said. 

“Eric Virgil has basically been a JV starter who had to start today and was a junk yard dog. Reed Stout had two big 3s off the bench. I can’t say enough of how proud I am of these guys. They kept fighting and found a way to win.”

The Hornets face Inola at 5:30 p.m. Friday in one semifinal.

 

•••

Stilwell girls beat Hilldale 57-51. It was a relatively close game throughout, but the Lady Hornets offense’s absence in the final minutes proved fatal.

Madi Folsom’s bucket-and-one gave Hilldale (6-6)  the lead with 3:14 to go at 49-48, and Folsom’s shot after a steal by Navaeh Johnson made it a 51-48 game with 2:30 to play.

The Lady Hornets would not score again on four possessions.

Kasia Therber’s 3 with 1:05 left gave Stilwell (7-4) the lead for good, 54-41.

“We dug ourselves a hole but we fought back,” Hilldale coach Clif Warford said. “I’m proud of the grit that my girls have but we’ve got to learn to finish games. We have to be more consistent and do the little things right.”

Hilldale trailed by as many as nine, that in the third quarter, and trailed 44-38 entering the fourth.

Johnson had a game-high 15 points. Skye Been and Celeste Wood each had 10 and Madi Folsom 9. Snowda Waite led Stilwell with 14 points.

Hilldale will take on Fort Gibson’s JV in a consolation game Friday.

 

Other games:

In boys action Beggs beat Hale 75-38 to move into the semifinals. Inola beat Stilwell, 75-38.

In girls play, Inola beat Memorial 62-39. Roland drew a bye.

Hilldale 70, Oklahoma Union 67

A gritty fourth-quarter effort saw the shorthanded Hornets (6-3) pull it out over the previously unbeaten 2A No. 4 squad.

Brayson Lawson, who finished with a game-high 28 points, a personal season-high, hit a 3 with 4:55 left that gave the Hornets a momentary lead at 57-56. The lead switched hands again but the Hornets weren’t done.

Rylan Nail’s putback made it 66-65 with 1:20 to play. Lawson’s poke caused a steal that Evan Smith got, leading to Lawson’s layup with :17 left that put the Hornets back up 67-65.

Smith hit two free throws 69-66,  Dillon Ellis, at line fouled by Eric Virgil, hit the first, intentionally missed the second but Union (12-1) was called for a lane violation. 5 capped the scoring with a free throw.

Smith had 22 points. Rylan Nail  had 6 points but was big as a physical presence inside.

The Hornets were missing leading scorer Ty O’Neal, out on contact tracing quarantine. They were already missing starter Logan Harper (ruptured Achilles) from a week ago.

“Five guys were either hurt or in quarantine, leaving us with nine guys and man, this is why you love high school basketball. You get to see kids take steps and grow up,” Hilldale coach Scott Hensley said. 

“Eric Virgil has basically been a JV starter who had to start today and was a junk yard dog. Reed Stout had two big 3s off the bench. I can’t say enough of how proud I am of these guys. They kept fighting and found a way to win.”

The Hornets face Inola at 5:30 p.m. Friday in one semifinal.

 

 

Stilwell 57, Hilldale 51

It was a relatively close game throughout, but the Lady Hornets offense’s absence in the final minutes proved fatal.

Madi Folsom’s bucket-and-one gave Hilldale (6-6)  the lead with 3:14 to go at 49-48, and Folsom’s shot after a steal by Navaeh Johnson made it a 51-48 game with 2:30 to play.

The Lady Hornets would not score again on four possessions.

Kasia Therber’s 3 with 1:05 left gave Stilwell (7-4) the lead for good, 54-41.

“We dug ourselves a hole but we fought back,” Hilldale coach Clif Warford said. “I’m proud of the grit that my girls have but we’ve got to learn to finish games. We have to be more consistent and do the little things right.”

Hilldale trailed by as many as nine, that in the third quarter, and trailed 44-38 entering the fourth.

Johnson had a game-high 15 points. Skye Been and Celeste Wood each had 10 and Madi Folsom 9. Snowda Waite led Stilwell with 14 points.

Hilldale will take on Fort Gibson's JV in a consolation game Friday.

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