INOLA — Host Inola proved to be much too gracious Monday night in the opening round of the Jerry Oquin Basketball Tournament.
Turnovers kept both home teams slipping and sliding.
A fierce fourth-quarter rally fell short as the Longhorns dropped a 46-43 decision to Siloam Springs, Ark.
The girls' contest saw Siloam Springs pull away for a 52-38 victory over the Lady Longhorns.
As Rogers County and the rest of the area started recovering from last week's record snow fall, high school basketball started up once again.
Against the out-of-state opponents, the Inola teams found themselves using a little shovel against a long snowy sidewalk. The failure to hit three-pointers, plus committing numerous turnovers led to the twin setbacks.
Joining Inola for this week's tournament play are Rogers County teams Oologah and Verdigris in the girls bracket and Oologah and Claremore B squad in the boys bracket.
Other schools are Grove and Stilwell girls and Ft. Gibson, Grove, Stilwell and Coweta boys.
Inola coughed up the ball 26 times. Most came on slow, lobbing passes and the quicker Panther defense was in the right place to nab them.
Behind most of the game, Inola put itself in postion to win in the fourth quarter. A Zach Elseman layup and adjoining free throw tied the score at 35 with 5:38 to play. Longhorn teammate Nick Cotton followed with a short jumper moments later for a 37-37 score.
Siloam would turn back the Longhorn run as Coleson Rakestraw answered with seven straight points. The killer was a three-pointer with 3:05 remaining.
Longhorn Seth Moore answered with back-to-back treys and Inola pulled to within 44-43 with 45 seconds remaining. A turnover, however, put the ball back in Siloam's hands and Bryson Cleveland hit a pair of free throws for the final margin.
Rakestraw led all scorers with 15 points. He hit eight in the final quarter. Teammate Cleveland finished with 13.
Moore led Inola with 14 points. He was the only Longhorn to have success beyond the three-point line. He connected on four of nine attempts. The rest of the team hit only one of 11.
Also in double figures for the Longhorns were Elseman with 11 points and Matt Wheeler with 10.
Inola is 0-2 while the Panthers improved to 2-1.
Kacie Larkin, who led all players with 23 points, got 20 in the first half. This allowed the Panthers to run up a 10-point edge, 32-22. They made it stand up.
Haley Shimer's layup at the first-quarter buzzer put the visitors on top, 14-13. It was all catch-up from that point for the Lady Longhorns.
Siloam jumped to a 5-0 start. Inola came back to tie at 8 on a Mary Grigg basket at 3:01. Kelsey Sears, getting six of her eight total points in the opening period, gave the Lady 'Horns the lead two minutes later. She rebounded her own missed shot and put it back up for a 10-8 edge.
The lead changed hands three times down to the wire. The final time came on Shimer's layup.
As their male counterparts did later, the Inola girls were not able to hit the trey. Mandy Grigg hit the only four sucessful treys as Inola attempted the long shot 20 times.
Inola is 1-1 while Siloam improved to 3-1.
SILOAM SPRINGS 52, INOLA 38
Siloam Springs 14 18 11 9 — 52
Inola 13 9 9 7 — 38
Siloam Springs — Larkin 23, Berlin 8, Casteel 7, Allison 6, Ferguson 2, Goddard 2, Shimer 2, Cleek 2.
Inola — Mandy Grigg 15, Maldonaldo 9, Sears 8, Mary Grigg 3, Unruh 2, Sanders 1.
SILOAM SPRINGS 46, INOLA 43
Siloam Springs 12 9 13 12 — 46
Inola 6 10 13 14— 43
Siloam Springs — Rakestraw 15, Cleveland 13, Barnett 6, Eshnaur 5, Knoner 4, Ostrander 3.
Inola — Moore 14, Elseman 11, Wheeler 10, Cotton 4, Weaver 3, Feemster 1.
4 p.m. — Inola vs. Oologah (Girls)
5:30 p.m. — Fort Gibson vs. Claremore B (Boys)
7 p.m. — Verdigris vs. Stilwell (Girls)
8:30 p.m. — Stilwell vs. Coweta (Boys)
Claremore at Catoosa