By CRAIG HALL
POTEAU—Poteau’s boys continued building momentum heading into next week’s LeFlore County Tournaments while a rough stretch in the second half kept the Lady Pirates looking for their first win.
The Pirates won their second straight here Tuesday night with a 61-43 NOAA win over Sallisaw while the Lady Diamonds broke open a tight game in the second half and won, 65-39.
Poteau’s boys grabbed the lead early and steadily built the lead in improving to 5-6 overall and 2-1 in conference play heading into another big conference battle Friday at Muldrow.
The Pirates hit 11 three-point baskets in the game and used a 13-3 run in the second quarter to build a lead the Black Diamonds could never challenge.
Despite resting much of the second half, Kendrick Hardaway and Wilson Klutts both were in double figures to lead Poteau. Hardaway led the Pirates with 18 points while Klutts had 11, three from beyond the three-point line. Jarrett Lowrimore added nine points while Blake Williams and Spencer Hall each had eight.
Sallisaw was led by Alex Beggs’ 18 points.
The earlier game appeared to be a nailbiter until the third quarter. Kaitlan Standridge and Shelby Standridge hit a pair of baskets to give Poteau a 34-33 lead with 3:59 left in the quarter.
Sallisaw switched to a pressing defense and the Lady Diamonds got hot, scoring 13 straight points with eight coming from Bailey Morgan in a 13-0 run to go ahead, 46-34. Poteau was held scoreless for 3:52 and only had a pair of free throws by Coleen Peterson late in the quarter.
Kaitlan Standridge scored the opening basket of the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 46-37, only to see Sallisaw score seven straight to put the game away and bring in the reserves.
Kaitlan Standridge paced Poteau with 12 points while Peterson had 10 and Shelby Standridge nine.
Sallisaw, which started three freshmen, was led by Mariah Sweeney’s 18 points. Kristen Fulbright added 14 and Morgan had 10.