By CRAIG HALL
POTEAU—The night started off in a strange fashion and ended with a downpour of 3’s to match the heavy rain outside when Stilwell played at Poteau Friday night.
Poteau’s girls fell to Stilwell, 40-25, while the Pirates battled back from a big deficit, only to see a reserve save the night for the visitors in a 44-33 victory.
In the first game, Poteau scored the first 11 points of the game, the only problem was two of those were credited to Stilwell. After the Lady Pirates controlled the opening tip, they went the wrong way and scored a basket on Stilwell’s end to give the Lady Indians a 2-0 lead.
Poteau overcame the early mistake and quickly grabbed a 9-2 lead as Montana Roll scored all nine points for the Lady Pirates.
Stilwell bounced back from the slow start and got hot in the second quarter, scoring 21 points to Poteau’s four to take a 27-15 lead at halftime.
The Lady Pirates had trouble with Stilwell’s press and numerous turnovers and easy shots put the Lady Indians in control.
Poteau never mounted a challenge in the second half and Stilwell left with the win.
Roll was the only Poteau player in double figures with 11 points. Ashley Stone had 12 to lead a balanced attack for Stilwell.
In the nightcap, Stilwell’s boys looked like a small college team, starting a 6-8, 6-6 and 6-5 in the front court.
After being dominated through the first half of the second quarter, Poteau started its comeback. Unable to get much down low against Stilwell’s inside players, the Pirates got hot from outside and came back from the 16-4 deficit in the second quarter to tie the game at the end of three.
But just when it looked like the Pirates were in position to win, senior reserve Dylan McGee knocked down three straight 3’s for the Indians while Kendrick Hardaway’s 3 was the only score for Poteau during the stretch.
McGee’s outburst over 1:16 stretched a 28-27 advantage to 37-30 for Stilwell and Poteau never recovered.
The Indians outscored Poteau 16-6 to close the contest with the Pirates’ only scores a pair of 3’s from Hardaway, who had four in the second half.
After Stilwell opened a 16-4 lead in the second quarter, Poteau closed the quarter with a 5-0 run to pull within seven at the half.
Hardaway scored six points to start the third quarter while Stilwell could only score a pair of points. Blake Williams’ 3-pointer pulled Poteau within a pair of points and after a basket by 6-8 sophomore Matt Lea gave the Indians a four-point lead, Marshall Jones and Dylan Stone each scored to tie the game at the end of the third quarter.
Stilwell went back up by three before Wilson Klutts scored for Poteau with 4:51 left to cut the lead to 28-27, which set the stage for McGee’s scoring spurt to put the Indians back in control.
Stilwell’s 6-5 senior Cameron Powell was a force inside for the Indians and led his team with 13 points. McGee added 11 with his nine points in the final quarter the big difference.
Hardaway led Poteau with 12 points, all in the second half on 3-point shots. Klutts had eight for Poteau, which will be back in action Tuesday at home against Muldrow.