TAHLEQUAH — Every Metro Lakes Conference game has its importance, but as the season wears on, any win is more important as far as playoff seeding.
And those wins will be counted soon. And Claremore’s boys will add to that win total with a 53-38 victory at Tahlequah Friday. The Lady Zebras, however, fell 51-29 to the No. 2-ranked Lady Tigers.
Claremore boys 53, Tahlequah 38 — Layton Hartloff scored 27 points and little brother Caison added 11 as the Claremore boys turned it on late to ice a 53-38 win at Tahlequah Friday.
Claremore, ranked No. 10 in Class 5A, improved to 7-4, winning for the fifth time in the last six games. Tahlequah falls to 4-7, a disappointing result after coming off a 56-54 win over Collinsville.
The home team held a slim 15-14 advantage after one quarter, but an 11-3 run but the Zebras up for good.
The two teams struggled from the field in the third quarter, but the Zebras nailed it shut with 21-12 run in the fourth.
The Hartloff brothers each hit a trio of 3-pointers.
Tahlequah was led by Jaxon Jones, who scored 17 points for the Tigers.
Tahlequah girls 51, Claremore 29 — Friday night at Tahlequah, the 13th-ranked Claremore girls kept pace early with Class 5A's 2nd-ranked team, taking an 11-all tie into the second quarter. But a scoreless second frame by the Lady Zebras and a 19-0 run into halftime was all the lady Tigers would need on their way to a 51-29 win.
Claremore drops to 4-7 after extending its losing streak to four, while Tahlequah jumps to 9-3.
After turning a tie game into a near 20-point lead in just eight minutes, Tahlequah needed to just run time, and led by Delaney Nix's 20 points, the home team kept a double-digit lead to the wire.
Sierra L. Smith had 11 points for Tahlequah and Taya Green added 10.
Claremore couldn't get the guards going. Abbey Cox was held to a single bucket in the first quarter and Hailey Grant made her only bucket of the game in the third. So it was up the inside girls to score. Seniors Bre Farmer and Lauren Hardage scored 9 and 8 points, respectively.