INOLA — Oologah took it on the chin twice Thursday night in the semifinals of the week-long Jerry Oquin high school Basketball Tournament.
The Mustang boys fell, 79-48, to powerful Fort Gibson, while Siloam Springs, Ark., drilled the Lady Mustangs, 59-45.
The victories moved both teams to the Saturday championship contests. The 4-0 Tigers will face Coweta, a 46-43 winner over SiloamSprings, in the 8:30 p.m. boys game and Siloam will take on Verdigris at 7 p.m. for the girls title.
In both semifinal pairings Thursday, the winning teams quickly jumped to double-digit leads and never looked back. Because of a postponement earlier in the week due to icy weather, the Oologah boys were playing their second game in a 22-hour time frame.
"I believe Fort Gibson and Mannford may be the best two teams we will face this year," said Oologah coach Ron Ward, referring to the two teams his Mustangs have lost to in the young season, "These guys tonight (Fort Gibson) are really good."
Led by Tanner Wilson's 25 points and a multitalented scoring attack, the Tigers blew past Oologah with ease.
The Mustangs attempted to play catch-up with the long ball. It didn't work. Oologah did connect on 11 attempts, but missed on 37 other shots beyond the three-point arc. Fort Gibson's fast-moving offense turned Oologah's misses into Tiger points. As the game continued, the point difference continued to widen.
Wilson, a 6-5 senior, was the key force for the Tigers. Working under the bucket, Wilson scored five early goals as his teammates successfully fed him the ball.
Jared Gregg also was hot in the opening minutes. He hit all but two of his 18 points in the first half as the Tigers jumped to an impressive 44-23 lead.
Because Oologah never really tried to take the ball to the bucket, the Fort Gibson defense committed only three fouls for the entire contest. None was a shooting foul.
Cody Payne connected on a trey early to give Oologah its only lead, 5-4. He hit one more, but it was in the midst of a 13-3 run by the Tigers. His following six long shots failed to fall through the net.
Jeff White topped the Mustangs for the second straight game. He finished with 13 points against a man-in-the-face defensive effort by the Tigers’ Trey Movay. Throughout the game, he stuck closer to White than make-up on an aging actress.
Movay and Ryan Keese each scored 15 points for Fort Gibson as the Tigers improved to 4-0.
Oologah fell to 1-2.
The out-of-state Lady Panthers added up a 30-point lead to take into the final quarter. They then turned the game over to their reserves.
Eleven players scored for the Lady Panthers. Sarah Allison had 12 points for team honors, but was followed closely by Kacie Larkin and Ally Goddard with 11 each.
Oologah's Lachelle Hotfelt scored 19 points for game-high totals as she hit three treys in six attempts and sank eight of 10 free throws.
Caitlin Linihan finished with 12 Oologah points. She recorded half of them in the final quarter as Oologah outscored the Lady Panthers, 21-5.
Linihan scored the game's first points for a 2-0 Oologah advantage. It was short-lived. Siloam's Larkin used a layup for her team's opening basket and Goddard followed with a three-pointer. It put the Panthers on top, 5-2. The lead continued to grow until the starters took a seat at the end of the third quarter.
Siloam Springs will take a 5-1 record into the championship game against the undefeated Lady Cardinals from Verdigris.
The Oologah girls are 1-2.
FORT GIBSON 79, OOLOGAH 48
Oologah 10 13 14 11 — 48
Fort Gibson 21 23 18 17 — 79
Oologah — White 13, Barrett 8, Payne 6, Troutt 5, Wright 3, Wallis 3, Walters 3, Taylor 3, Keith 2, Jacobs 2.
Fort Gibson — Wilson 25, Gregg 18, Movay 15, Keese 15, Scott 3, Lasater 2, Foster 1.
SILOAM SPRINGS 59, OOLOGAH 45
Oologah 9 6 9 21 — 45
Siloam Springs 19 20 15 5 — 59
Oologah — Hotfelt 19, Linihan 12, Jeffs 7, Dillman 4, Haines 1, Allen 1, Young 1.
Siloam Springs — Allison 12, Goddard 11, Larkin 11, Casteel 8, Shimer 6, Moore 4, Berlin 3, Cooper 2, Ferguson 1, Eaves 1.
4 p.m. — Grove vs. Stilwell, girls
5:30 p.m. — Claremore JV vs. Grove, boys
7 p.m. — Inola vs. Stilwell, boys