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2-15 Sports - Okm.qxp_3/23 SUNDAY LO 2/14/17 12:11 PM Page 1

Okmulgee Times, Wednesday, February 15, 2017, Page 1B

En Fuego!

Tate torches Stilwell for 40 in Bulldogs’ comeback win By LARRY OWEN Times Sports Editor

OKMULGEE - Former ESPN anchor Dan Patrick always uttered the phrase 'En Fuego' to describe when a professional athlete had a great scoring game during highlights on SportsCenter. If Patrick was doing highlights of Monday night's Okmulgee boys varsity basketball game against Stilwell, he would describe Okmulgee senior Jimell Tate's scoring night as 'En Fuego'. On Monday, Tate lit up the scoreboard for a season-high 40 points, including 19 in the fourth quarter of the Bulldogs' 67-63, come-frombehind, win over the visiting Stilwell Indians at Brock Memorial Gymnasium. Trailing 45-28 in the third quarter, Tate and the Bulldogs erased the 17-point deficit to avoid the Indians spoiling OHS' Senior Nite celebration. It was Tate's 3-point basket from the left wing with 3.1 seconds left in the third period that completed a 14-4 run and gave the Bulldogs the momentum they needed to pull off the comeback victory in the final eight minutes of regulation. Tate nearly matched his career-high point total of 41, which he accomplished on February 9, 2016, at Haskell. That night, Tate did most of his damage from behind the 3-point arc, knocking down an impressive 13 threepointers in the contest. On Monday, Tate did most of his scoring from inside, knocking down 12 two-point baskets. Tate also drained four 3-pointers and was 4 of 6 from the free throw line. Prior to Monday, Tate's previous season-high point total in 2016-17 was a 35point showing against Harrah on January 24. Monday's 40-point total marks the fourth time this season that Tate has scored 30 or more points in a game. Besides the 35 Tate dropped on Harrah, the Bulldog senior also had 30 against Millwood on December 20, 33 against Tulsa Edison on January 5 at the Bedouin Shrine Tournament in Muskogee, and 33 at home against Harrah on January 3. Tate also has a 29-point performance on December 15 against Nowata in the semifinals of the Sperry Tournament and a 27-point total against Tahlequah Sequoyah on February 4. Tate's stellar shooting night on Monday also helped the Bulldogs snap a 3-game losing streak and improved the Okmulgee squad's season record to 14-7. The Bulldogs will now embark on their postseason journey this Saturday against Eufaula in the Class 3A, Area III, District 6 championship game at historic Brock Memorial Gymnasium. Okmulgee's playoff showdown with the Ironheads is set to tip off on Saturday at approximately 8 p.m. Following Saturday's district title game against Eufaula, the Bulldogs will compete in regional tournament action next Thursday on their home floor, as Brock Gym was selected as a subsite for next weekend's regional tournament.

Okmulgee senior Jimell Tate (10) soars to the basket for two of his 11 first-quarter points in Monday’s regular-season finale against Stilwell. Tate finished with a season-high 40 points in guiding the Bulldogs to a 67-63 win at Brock Memorial Gymnasium. (Staff photo by Larry Owen)

A win against Eufaula on Saturday will put the Okmulgee squad in a winner's bracket contest next Thursday at 8 p.m. in Okmulgee, while a loss to the Ironheads will drop the Bulldogs into a consolation quarterfinal game next Thursday at 3 p.m. in Okmulgee. In Monday's regular-season finale against Stilwell, the Bulldogs came out of the opening frame with a 16-13 advantage with Tate scoring the final 11 points in the quarter for the OHS squad. Stilwell caught fire offensively in the second period, outscoring the Bulldogs 2312 to take a 36-28 lead into the halftime break. The visitors opened the third quarter with a 9-0 run to lead 45-28. The Bulldogs then embarked on a 9-0 run of their own to cut the deficit back to eight, 45-37, late in the period. Stilwell tallied the next four points to lead 49-37, then a basket by Bryson Jordan made it 4939, Stilwell. Tate's 3-point bomb with 3.1 seconds left sent the game into the final eight minutes of regulation with Stilwell's lead at only seven, 49-42. The Bulldogs began the final period with a basket by Anfernee Nelson at the 7:21 mark. Tate cut the deficit to three, 49-46 with a basket at 6:53, then tied the game at 49-49 with a 3-pointer just four seconds later that followed an offensive rebound on a missed free throw when Tate was fouled on his previous score. With 6:33 left in regulation, Stilwell's Logan Mattox scored to bring an end to the

Bulldogs' lengthy run and regain the lead for the visitors. Mattox then drilled a 3point basket to up the Indians lead to five, 54-49. After a basket by Jerry Stephenson increased the Stilwell lead to 56-49, the Bulldogs scored the next six points to make it a 56-55 contest with 4:30 remaining in regulation. Stephenson converted an old-fashioned 3-point play at 3:50 to push the Stilwell lead to four, 59-55, then Tate cut the deficit in half, 59-57, with a basket at the 3:29 mark. Back-to-back baskets by Jacob Christie increased the Indians' lead to 63-57 with 2:17 left in regulation. After a basket by Jordan made it 63-59, Stilwell, with 1:17 remaining, Tate took over offensively in the final minute. The Bulldog senior sharpshooter knocked down a 3-pointer with 46.9 seconds remaining to cut the Stilwell lead to one, 63-62, then put Okmulgee on top at 65-63 by converting an oldfashioned 3-point play with 22.3 seconds left. After the made free throw by Tate, Okmulgee head coach Johnny Dreyer called a timeout to set up his defense. Stilwell missed wildly on a game-tying shot with the ball going out of bounds and Okmulgee gaining possession with 7.7 seconds left. The Indians were forced to start fouling in the final seven seconds in an attempt to have a chance at avoiding the loss. The Stilwell defenders fouled Tate on three straight inbound plays with the final foul sending the Okmulgee

senior to the charity stripe with 2.2 seconds left and a chance at putting the game on ice for the Bulldogs. In an attempt to ice Tate, Stilwell head coach Mike George called a timeout. The freeze attempt did not work, as Tate, with ice water running through his veins, calmly knocked down both ends of the 1-and-1 foul situation to give Okmulgee a 67-

63 advantage. Stilwell came up short on a long-range shot attempt at the buzzer, giving the host Bulldogs the thrilling 67-63 victory. Besides Tate's 40-point performance, Jordan was the only other Bulldog player to reach double figures in the contest, as the senior finished with 11 points in the win.

Other contributors in the contest for Okmulgee were Michael Simmons with seven, Anfernee Nelson four, Tre'Lon McCall three, and Andrew Robertson two. Stilwell was led in scoring by Stephenson with 21. Tye Corley was next for the Indians with 14, followed by Mattox and Scott Eubanks with nine each and Christie with eight.

Lady Bulldogs losing streak reaches four with loss to Stilwell By LARRY OWEN Times Sports Editor

OKMULGEE - The Okmulgee Lady Bulldogs will enter the postseason with a 4game losing streak following Monday's 6648 loss to the visiting Stilwell Lady Indians. The OHS squad watched as a first-quarter lead quickly turned into a double-digit deficit at halftime after a dismal offensive performance in the second period. The Lady Bulldogs attempted to overcome the poor shooting of the second quarter in the second half, but were unable to overtake the Lady Indians to suffer their fourth-straight loss. The 18-point setback ends Okmulgee's regular season at 9-12. The Lady Bulldogs will begin postseason play this Saturday at home against the Eufaula Lady Ironheads in the Class 3A, Area III, District 6 championship game at 6:30 p.m. A loss to the Lady Ironheads on Saturday will put the Okmulgee ladies in the regional consolation quarterfinals and one loss away from having their 2016-17 campaign come to a close, while a win over Eufaula on Saturday will put the Lady Bulldogs in a winner's bracket game next Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at

historic Brock Memorial Gymnasium. In Monday's regular-season finale, the Lady Bulldogs came out of the back-andforth first period with a narrow 17-16 advantage. The Okmulgee offense went cold in the second stanza, tallying only six points in the frame. Stilwell, however, continued to put points on the scoreboard in the second quarter with 21 points in the period to send the game into the intermission with the Lady Bulldogs trailing 37-23. Stilwell took the final two frames by margins of 16-13 and 13-12, respectively, to hand the Okmulgee ladies the 66-48 defeat. McKenzie James was tops in scoring for Okmulgee with a game-high 17 points. Kailey Ward and Tierney Gardner also found their way into double-digit scoring for the Lady Bulldogs with 10 points each. Sameya King chipped in seven points in the loss for OHS, while My'Kayla Young rounded out the Okmulgee scoring with four points. Stilwell had three players reach double figures on Monday, led by Jaycee Soap with 16 points. Desirae Scott was next for the Lady Indians with 13, followed by Taneika Duncan with 11. Julia Bruner just missed double-digit scoring for Stilwell with nine.

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Odt 2017 02 15 b 001