Coweta certainly left its mark on Tahlequah in Week 6.
Following its 54-0 loss to Coweta, Tahlequah looked like a bruised and battered team in the postgame locker room. Few players left without a hobble in their step.
But, with a few days of rest, Tahlequah’s roster got a shot of rejuvenation with another District 5A-4 game on tap Friday night against Central at Booker T. Washington’s S.E. Williams Stadium.
“We’re healthier,” Tahlequah coach Brad Gilbert said. “We’re not as healthy as we’d like to be, but that’s every team. We have some guys that’ll play through some pain.”
Count running back Mason McMillan as one of those guys. The senior tailback left last Friday’s game against Coweta with a hip injury in the first half and finished with only 45 yards of total offense on eight rushes and one catch.
Also suiting with injuries for Tahlequah is Brandon Conrad and Caleb Morton.
“Mason, Caleb and Brandon, as of now, will be playing,” Gilbert said. “They’re going to suit up and play and hopefully get after it.”
Gilbert added that offensive lineman Alex Rice will be a game-time decision, while wide receiver Tyler Eisensmith and offensive lineman Austin Robertson will be out.
However, having McMillan available provides Tahlequah with its potent running back, with Conrad adding a speed element out of the backfield or at a wide receiver spot.
“It helps us to get those two guys back,” Gilbert said of McMillan and Conrad. “But we were preparing as if we weren’t going to have them.”
With Eisensmith — quarterback David Dick’s favorite target — out, McMillan and Conrad could be called upon more often in the passing game. But Gilbert said wide receivers, Ben Lamb and Kourtland McMillan, will be called upon to ease the pain of Eisensmith’s absence.
“The two kids we’ll lean on in the passing game will be Kourtland McMillan and Ben Lamb,” Gilbert said. “We’ll also work in Will Carlile, as well.
“But we’re a run-oriented team, so that’s where it helps to have Mason and Brandon back.”
Luckily for Tahlequah, Central’s roster only features 29 players that suit up during varsity games. So the Tigers will likely not be out-manned.
Regardless, though, the final four weeks of the season become must-win games for Tahlequah, if it’s to make the playoffs. The Tigers are 1-2 in 5A-4 play, tied with Central for fifth and looking up at Claremore, Coweta, Collinsville, Pryor and East Central in the standings.
“It’s a game that we need to win,” Gilbert said. “Our goal (of making the playoffs) is still in front of us. If we can put four quarters together, we know we have a chance to win.”
Coweta certainly left its mark on Tahlequah in Week 6.
3A AREA PLAYOFFS: Verdigris battles Tahlequah Sequoyah in Checotah
Hanslovan, who is accustomed to winning state championships in soccer, will look to move the No. 3-ranked Lady Cardinals one step closer toward a berth in the 3A State Tournament at 6:30 p.m. on Friday in the area finals against Tahlequah Sequoyah at Checotah High School.
Catoosa HS set to host Class 6A Girls Area; 5A Boys Area tourneys
For high school basketball enthusiasts in Rogers County, Catoosa High School is the place to be on Thursday and Friday.
Catoosa High School will host the Class 6A Girls Area and Class 5A Boys Area over the two-day period.
Class 3A Regional Champions
It’s takes two to tango and the Verdigris basketball teams are dancing their way to the Class 3A Area Finals.
With a state tournament berth on the line Friday night, both Verdigris teams return to a familiar place on the road to state in Oklahoma City.
The Class 3A No. 3-ranked Lady Cardinals waltzed past Vian, 58-46 and the No. 4-ranked Cardinals decked Eufaula, 66-53 to cap off the regional championship night Saturday inside the Jack Collins Fieldhouse.
Claremore set to host 4A Area Basketball Tournament
Claremore High School will be a busy place Thursday through Saturday with several of the state’s top Class 4A basketball teams competing in the area tournament.
West Virginia, Baylor top Big 12 Women's BB Tourney
It took West Virginia two years to make a splash in the Big 12.
The seventh-ranked Mountaineers earned a share of the regular-season title in their second year in the league and take a 10-game win streak into the conference tournament that starts Friday at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
BIG 12 MBB: No. 16 Iowa State looks to close with win over Oklahoma State
Iowa State is more than ready for the postseason after playing 17 games in the nation's most grueling conference.
Still, the Cyclones wouldn't mind picking up a little momentum before heading to the Big 12 tournament and beyond.
No. 16 Iowa State (22-7, 10-7 Big 12) has dropped its last two games, road losses to Kansas State and Baylor, after going 7-1 in February.
NBA CAPSULES: Duncan paces Spurs past Heat
Tim Duncan had 23 points and 11 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs never trailed against the Miami Heat, weathering a sluggish third quarter for an intense and emotional 111-87 victory Thursday.
MLB: Hill arrives at Red Sox camp following son's death
Red Sox pitcher Rich Hill starts spring training with a heavy heart.
Hill reported to Boston's camp on Thursday following the death of son Brooks, who was less than 2 months old when he died on Feb. 24.
Sports medicine pioneer Frank Jobe dies at 88
Dr. Frank Jobe, a pioneering orthopedic surgeon who was the first to perform an elbow procedure that became known as Tommy John surgery and saved the careers of countless major league pitchers, died Thursday. He was 88.
AP Source: 10-second rule withdrawn by committee
Round one of the pace-of-play debate goes to the proponents of fast football.
The NCAA football rules committee tabled a proposal Wednesday that would have penalized offenses for snapping the ball before 10 seconds had run off the 40-second play clock, The Associated Press has learned.
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- 3A AREA PLAYOFFS: Verdigris battles Tahlequah Sequoyah in Checotah