By CRAIG HALL
POTEAU—Spiro’s boys finally got untracked and won a Class 3A regional consolation championship while the Lady Bulldogs could not overcome a powerful Salina team Saturday.
Spiro’s boys dominated the second half in a 61-47 win over Valliant while fifth-ranked Salina grabbed control early and sent the Lady Bulldogs into the losers’ bracket with a 59-36 win in the regional championship game.
Three other county teams also fell in regional championship games Saturday while Poteau’s girls captured the consolation championship of the 4A regional in Spiro and Poteau’s boys were eliminated by Idabel.
Salina jumped out to an early lead in the regional championship game and Spiro could never challenge as the Lady Wildcats’ defense kept the Lady Bulldogs bottled up.
Reesa Cowan led Salina with 16 points and Kayla Morgan added 14. Philicea Mack was the only Spiro player in double figures with 23 points.
Spiro’s boys overcame foul trouble and a shaky start to move on with the win over Valliant.
Spiro dominated the second half in a game which had well over 60 turnovers. Spiro trailed 22-18 at halftime, despite jumping out to an early 12-2 advantage.
Trailing 28-27, Spiro seized control with a 9-0 run late in the third quarter and then went on a 12-0 run over the last part of the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter to take a 48-31 lead.
Knifeis Carter and Jermaine Jimmerson started the run with a pair of 3-point baskets. With the clock running down at the end of the third quarter, Carter hit one of his trademark 3’s from way outside the three-point line.
Valliant did cut the lead to 10 points before Spiro closed out the game to advance to the area tournament.
Jimmerson led Spiro with 19 points while Carter had 14 and Devon Perry 11.
The Howe and Talihina girls both had matchups against undefeated teams in the regional finals and put a scare in the opponents before coming up short.
Howe took on undefeated and fourth-ranked Amber-Pocasset in a regional finals at Ada.
Amber-Pocasset downed the Lady Lions, 40-29, to win the regional championship. Howe fell behind by six points and trailed by 11 at halftime.
Howe cut the lead to five points in the fourth quarter but fell short at the end.
Talihina’s girls jumped out to a 15-9 lead at the end of the first quarter over third-ranked Oktaha in the regional championship game at Oktaha.
Oktaha slowly took control of the game and went on to take a 43-38 win over the Lady Tigers. Oktaha rallied in the second quarter to lead 21-19 at halftime and led 29-24 after three quarters.
Wister’s boys fell to Haworth 71-47 in the championship game of the Class 2A regional at Ada. The loss was the second of the year for the Wildcats to Haworth after losing early in the season at the Preston tournament.
Poteau’s girls stayed alive by winning their second straight game in the losers’ bracket of the 4A regionals at Sallisaw.
The Lady Pirates avenged two regular-season losses to Stilwell by winning, 59-44, and advancing to the area tournament at Muskogee.
Montana Roll led Poteau with 15 points. Kaitlan Standridge had 13 and Colleen Peterson 11 for the Lady Pirates.
Idabel eliminated Poteau’s boys with a 48-33 win over the Pirates. The Warriors jumped out to a 17-6 lead at the end of the first quarter and Poteau could never recover.
Wilson Klutts and Blake Roley each had eight points in their final game for Poteau.