The Claremore Zebras played perhaps their best game of the season Tuesday night in a 54-47 loss to the Tahlequah Tigers at the Claremore High School Gym.
Despite battling from a 26-16 halftime deficit, the Zebras (0-11 overall, 0-6 Metro Lakes Conference) showed a lot of heart and fight in the final 16 minutes.
Twin brothers Darrius and Dontre Murphy keyed the Zebras’ charge in the second half, and combined to score 29 of the 47 points.
Darrius Murphy led Claremore with 18 points, including 11 in the second half. Dontre Murphy added 11 and senior guard Brett Russell finished with 10.
A driving layup by Darrius Murphy with 6:29 left in the third quarter pulled Claremore to within eight points at 28-20.
Tahlequah, however, pushed the margin to 39-22 before the Zebras answered with Russell’s short-range jumper at the 1:48 mark of the third quarter.
Claremore continued to rally in the fourth quarter and got Tahlequah’s lead to single digits at 46-37 on Dontre Murphy’s layup from Hunter Garroutte with 5:07 remaining.
Garroutte’s steal and layup made it 47-40 with 3:27 left.
That would, however, be the closest Claremore would get to the Tigers.
Dalton Cunningham led the Tigers with 21 points and 13 rebounds.