By CRAIG HALL
POTEAU—Spiro’s boys broke away in the second half while the Lady Bulldogs won a rematch of the LeFlore County Tournament finals here Tuesday night.
Spiro’s boys led only 23-21 at the half before controlling the second half in a 66-48 win while the Lady Bulldogs used a big run late in a 61-56 victory.
Bailey Cox drilled a 3 with 2:13 left to tie the score and 51 and start a 9-0 run that helped Spiro down Poteau in the first meeting between the two rivals since the Lady Pirates won the LCT in January.
After Cox’s basket, Philicea Mack was perfect on a pair of free throws to give Spiro the lead for good. Sarika Willis then came up with a steal and made the layup and then hit a pair of free throws for a 57-51 lead with 1:05 remaining.
Kaitlan Standridge pulled Poteau with four with a basket with 48 seconds left. Willis was fouled and hit one of two free throws with 23 seconds left, before the Lady Pirates’ Montana Roll hit a conventional three-point basket only four seconds left.
Willis was fouled again and missed the first free throw and made the second for a three-point lead. Poteau had a chance, but could not convert. Cox was fouled and made both from the charity line with only three seconds left for the final score.
Kanisha Hutchinson had 22 points to pace Spiro, now 14-5. Mack had 20 and Willis 10. Standridge scored 17 points for Poteau, 10-7. Roll and Allison Stone each added 12 points.
Spiro 61, Poteau 56
Spiro 10 16 16 19—61
Poteau 5 19 18 14—56
Spiro—Kanisha Hutchinson 22, Philicea Mack 20, Sarika Willis 10, Bailey Cox 7, Carleigha Thompson 2.
Poteau—Kaitlan Standridge 17, Montana Roll 12, Allison Stone 12, Kandace Standridge 7, Sunnie McConnell 5, Chelsey Campbell 3.
After leading by only two points at halftime, Spiro went on a 10-0 run to open the second half to take over the contest.
McKinley Whitfield scored eight of the points in the burst and finished with 16 of his 21 points in the second half.
Poteau kept the lead around 10 points the rest of the third quarter before the Bulldogs started expanding the lead in the fourth quarter as they could not slow Whitfield.
Spiro, ranked third in 3A, improved to 17-2, as Poteau drops to 7-10.
Timothy Perry added 14 points for the Bulldogs and Trevon Mitchem had 10.
Kendrick Hardaway was the only Poteau player in double figures with 26 points.
Spiro 66, Poteau 48
Spiro 11 12 22 21—66
Poteau 12 9 14 13—48
Spiro—McKinley Whitfield 21, Timothy Perry 14, Trevon Mitchem 10, Knifeis Carter 9, Jerry Vega 7, Joseph McAdoo 3, Lafayette Hutchinson 2.
Poteau—Kendrick Hardaway 26, Jarrett Lowrimore 7, John Scott Sanders 5, Mason Grimm 5, Austin Skelton 2, Dalton Smith 2, Austin Archey 1.
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