Lady Tigers pull away from Owasso in fourth quarter

Girls+Basketball+took+the+area+championship+home+on+March+3.

Steve Cowen

Girls Basketball took the area championship home on March 3.

After three and a half quarters of tough, gritty, and hard-played basketball that began to look a lot less like organized high school basketball and a lot more like a pickup game of the state’s top competitors as time winded down, the Lady Tigers showed everybody in attendance just how resilient they are.

“Defense is always important to us because when things aren’t going your way offensively, you feel like you can still contribute and take control of the game,” senior Darian Jackson said. “I think playing hard defense helps us maintain our composure.”

The real momentum shift came right before halftime when senior Aysia Evans took it down the court with 3.4 seconds to go in the half and laid it in with only .2 seconds remaining. This resulted in a soon-to-be game changing turn of momentum going into the half.

“Going into halftime with a lead is always important,” Evans said. “I looked up and saw that the clock was running out, so I just drove in as hard as I could and tried to get the shot off so I could give my team the lead going into halftime.”

Clutch shots in big games such as Thursday’s are what’s been carrying the Lady Tigers the entire season. What has been making them so dangerous is that there is not only one person who is relied upon to make shots. Defenders must be aware of all of the guards on the perimeter, as well as the 4’s and 5’s down low. The Lady Tigers present themselves as a threat in every aspect of the game.

After the coast-to-coast buzzer beater, the Tigers never looked back. They took a commanding lead in the fourth quarter, maintaining a lead of more than ten throughout. Owasso tried to climb back, but the shots simply just weren’t falling for the Rams.

The unsung hero for this game, and quite possibly many other games when the girls are in desperate need of support, is Assistant Coach Tiffany Jones. Though it goes unnoticed at many times, her ability to keep the players relaxed and focused has contributed to many big wins.

“Coach Hughes and I compliment each other in tense situations,” Jones said. “If he’s yelling at them and talking logistics, I’m the one keeping them relaxed. As coaches, everybody has a different role and my role requires keeping them composed and light on their feet.”

Prepare to see a hungry and passionate Tiger basketball team that shows no sign of slowing down in the state finals next week, with a game time yet to be announced.