The Verdigris Cardinals remain unbeaten with a hard-fought 54-48 win over Tahlequah Sequoyah Saturday night in the championship game of the Jerry Oquin Tournament.
Cade Upshaw and Blake Battenfield keyed the Cardinals attack, combining for 26 points and earning All-Tournament honors.
Upshaw, who is the son of Verdigris head coach Randy Upshaw, led the Cardinals with 15 points.
Battenfield, who signed a national letter of intent to play baseball for Oklahoma State, added 11 points.
Verdigris (6-0) got off to a hot start with an impressive 11-2 first quarter.
The outside shooting of Upshaw and Brad Combs, who also contributed in double figures with 10 points, paid off early for Verdigris.
Tahlequah Sequoyah, though, outscored Verdigris, 12-4 in the second quarter and went into halftime trailing 15-14.
In the semifinals, Tahlequah Sequoyah’s Ryan Helsley and B.J. Leach had 30 and 24 points, respectively in the Indians’ 78-73 win over Inola in overtime.
Leach and Helsley, however, were held to 15 and 13 points against the aggresive Verdigris defense.
Verdigris built a 37-34 lead at the end of the third quarter and held on in the final eight minutes with Upshaw’s clutch shooting and strong ball-handling.
In the third-place game, Inola used a 13-point effort from Taylor Mootry and a 12-point outing from Casey Gill to beat Pryor, 56-43.
Lady ‘Cards fall
The Fort Gibson Lady Tigers defended their championship trophy Saturday evening with a 49-43 win over previously unbeaten Verdigris.
Savannah Gray’s prowess on the perimeter, combined with Brooke Palmer’s production in the paint kept Ft. Gibson unbeaten at 6-0 on the season.
Palmer led the Lady Tigers with 14 points and Gray tallied 12 points. Allie Glover also responded with 11.
The Lady Cardinals (5-1) led 16-15 after the first quarter, and then trailed 27-22 at halftime.
Baileigh O’Dell, who earned all-tournament honors along with Stacia Payne, led the Lady Cardinals with 15 points.
Courtney Risenhoover also contributed with 12 points while Payne had seven and Taylor Beck added five.