Heavener girls rally past Poteau
It had not been a good week for the Heavener girls heading into the 93rd LeFlore County Tournament, which started Monday.
The Lady Wolves lost post player Cayleigh McGee in a game last week and she will be out for the season. Then Heavener played its worst game of the year Friday in getting blown out at home against Stigler.
Things did not look much better going into their opener of the LCT against Poteau, a team that defeated the Lady Wolves, 44-33, at Heavener a couple of weeks ago.
But it was a different Heavener team against the Lady Pirates this night on Poteau’s own court. The Lady Wolves used a different defense to try and contain Poteau’s Brooklyn Garner, who torched the Lady Wolves for 24 points in the earlier game.
Heavener trailed the whole game until late in the fourth quarter when Kinley Brand hit two free throws with 1:38 left. Poteau regained the lead with 33 seconds left on a pair of free throws by Garner before Brooklyn May scored with 21 seconds left to give Heavener the lead again.
Poteau’s Parker Patterson nailed two free throws with 12 seconds left to give Poteau a 48-47 lead, only to see Heavener’s McKinley Alexander break free, hit a layup and get fouled with seven seconds remaining. Alexander added the free throw for a 50-48 advantage.
Poteau got the ball down the court quickly and into the hands of Garner, who hit a baseline jumper, but the officials waived off the basket, saying the clock went off as the ball was still in her hands. A screen shot confirmed the officials were correct on the call sending Heavener into a quarterfinal game 7 p.m. Tuesday against second-seeded Howe, which had a bye the first round.
Garner scored 24 points again and played the last quarter and a half with four fouls. But those points came much harder than in the previous game. Patterson added 15 points, but no other Poteau player scored more than three points.
Heavener was led by Ava Cartwright, who had her best game of the year with 19 points, even though there was some doubt about her playing after she was ill over the weekend. Alexander added 14 points for the Lady Wolves.
Heavener’s win was the only game in the opening round when a lower seed beat a higher seed as the Lady Wolves were seeded 10th and Poteau seventh.
In other action for the girls, Talihina edged Wister, 45-39, to advance to play Pocola 7 p.m. Tuesday in Talihina; LeFlore crushed Arkoma, 65-32, to move on to play Spiro 4 p.m. Tuesday at Poteau.
Panama’s girls downed Cameron, 56-22, and the Lady ‘Backs will host third-seeded Whitesboro 7 p.m. at Panama; and Spiro’s girls got a forfeit over Bokoshe.
For the boys, all the games were decided by a decisive margin. Spiro crushed Cameron, 58-28; Poteau whipped Whitesboro, 67-37; Panama bashed Bokoshe, 85-46; Talihina moved on with a 65-46 decision over LeFlore; and Howe outscored Arkoma, 69-52.
In winners bracket games Tuesday at Poteau, Heavener plays Talihina at 5:30; and Wister and Poteau play at 8:30. At Talihina, Pocola and Howe meet at 8:30 p.m.; and at Panama, the Razorbacks go against Spiro, also at 8:30 p.m.
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