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WILBURTON â€” When the Howe Lady Lions and the Talihina Lady Golden Tigers met Jan. 21 at the Spiro Gym in the finals of the 80th LeFlore County Tournament, Howe prevailed 31-27 in the lowest-scoring girls title game in nearly three decades.
When they met Friday afternoon in the consolation semifinals of the Class 2A Area Tournament at the new Wilburton High School Gym, there was more scoring than the county title game. But fortunately for the Lady Lions â€” and unfortunately for the Lady Golden Tigers â€” the outcome was the same.
The Lady Lions defeated the Lady Golden Tigers 42-35 to advance to tonight's consolation finals of the Class 2A Area Tournament, which will be played here at 6:30 p.m. Howe will meet Amber-Pocasset, which was the only team to beat Howe this postseason â€” exactly one week ago in the Class 2A Regional Tournament title game at Ada High School's Cougar Activity Center.
â€śI'm proud of the girls,â€ť Howe Coach Chris Brown said. â€śWe're ready to go represent LeFlore County. I told (Talihina) Coach (Jeff) Oliver I wished we played against each other in (tonight's) game so that it would guarantee that a LeFlore County team would make state. Those two teams (Oktaha and Amber-Pocasset) are undefeated for a reason, but we're glad to have the opportunity we have before us.â€ť
The Lady Golden Tigers end the season at 22-6.
Howe pretty much led from start to finish. Howe had an 11-8 lead after one, which became a 24-18 advantage at the half.
Talihina cut the deficit to 27-23 after three periods, but could not get any closer. Howe had a 37-32 lead with 1:13 left to play and was able to keep Talihina at bay.