WARNER â€” The good news is the Talihina Lady Golden Tigers will be in the Class 2A Area Tournament this week at the new Wilburton High School Gym. The bad news is they will have to win three straight games to make next week's Class 2A State Tournament.
The Lady Golden Tigers lost the Class 2A Regional Tourmament title game 43-38 to the Oktaha Lady Tigers Saturday night.
The loss put the Lady Golden Tigers into the consolation side of things at this week's area tournament. They have to win three games in three days to make state, beginning with a 1:30 p.m. Thursday contest against the Rattan Lady Rams.
However, the season came to an end for the Golden Tigers with a heartbreaking 43-42 loss to the Crowder Demons Friday afternoon. The Golden Tigers finished the season at 13-13.
In the girls' regional championship game, the Lady Golden Tigers had a 13-5 lead in the opening period, which was cut to 15-9 after the first eight minutes.
Then, there was a lid on the basket in the second period for the Talihina girls, who were outscored 12-4 in the quarter to fall behind 21-19 at halftime.
The Oktaha girls took a 29-24 lead into the final period, only to see the Lady Golden Tigers rally back in the first 3:29 of the quarter to take a 36-31 lead.
But Oktaha outscored Talihina 12-2 the rest of the way, but the Lady Tigers from Muskogee County got the benefit of a miscue committed which was not called.
Talihina Girls Coach Jeff Oliver, whose team was down three points with just more than one minute left to play, said that an Oktaha player double dribbled at midcourt. The referee started to blow his whistle, which accidentally fell out of his mouth. Oliver said that crowd was so loud that the small noise the whistle made could not be heard by everyone, and basically, the referee ended up not making the call, which would have given the Talihina girls the ball with a chance to possibly tie the game with a 3-point basket.
In the boys' game, the Demons snatched a win away from the Golden Tigers on what was essentially a lay-up with four seconds left to play.
The Golden Tigers had a 14-8 lead after one period, but were outscored 35-28 over the final three quarters.