Feb. 12—With one game left in the season, the Tahlequah Lady Tigers are sitting at the top of 5A District 3 with a perfect 13-0 record.
Despite a perfect 13-0 record, the Lady Tigers have their toughest task on their hands as they head to Booker T. Washington with the district on the line. Despite a pair of THS wins already, playing on the Hornets' home court is one of the toughest tasks in the district.
A win would give the Lady Tigers a District Championship over the team that was the favorites heading into the season.
"[Two wins] gives us some confidence, beating them on their home court is a different animal. It will be a challenge but we will be up for it," THS Head Coach David Qualls said.
Going into the games with the Hornets, the Lady Tigers are off one of their most important wins of the season. Last Friday, the Lady Tigers went into a hostile Bishop Kelly Crowd that was looking for a win on senior night.
Qualls thinks the atmosphere of BKHS is an important step before THS plays the Hornets and more importantly after that in the playoffs.
"You get into those Area Tournaments and State Championships and you can't hear your coach," Qualls said. "Our girls did a good job of knowing what they were in and what they were supposed to do. Credit to them for communicating out there."
Despite the rowdy crowd, the Lady Tigers were able to come together and overcome the Comets.
"Great road win for us in the district. We came out in a tough atmosphere and played great defense all night. That was the biggest key for us.
Really it was just team defense, they gave each other good help," Qualls said.
The Lady Tigers picked up a win over the Comets despite not playing great offense. After putting up more than 60 points in three out of four games, the Lady Tigers have not broken the mark over the last three games. Qualls said he is looking for offensive improvements ahead of their showdown with the Hornets.
After struggling with turnovers against the Comets, Qualls is looking for improvements ahead of Tuesday's showdown.
"We really take care of the ball more, I thought we didn't take care of it well [against the Comets]," Qualls said. "Against the Hornets, you really have to take care of it or it will be a long night. We are really just going to have to reduce our turnovers and get some shots to fall on the road."
Despite struggling with offense the last three games, the Lady Tigers have played some of their best defense of the season in the last two games. Against the Collinsville Cardinals, the Lady Tigers gave up just 19 points and followed that up allowing just 27 points against the Cardinals.
"Even when they drove by us we were able to come stop them," Qualls said. "That has been a point of emphasis for us, we are known as an offense team we have worked really hard on our defense and it is paying off in these district road games because our offense isn't playing as well. Our defense carried us tonight."
A win gives the Lady Tigers an outright District Championship. For the Hornets to win the championship and a No. 1 seed, they need to beat the Lady Tigers by at least nine points.
The Lady Tigers and Hornets tip off at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13. When the two teams met at the start of February the Lady Tigers won 62-54. In the Tahlequah Invite Championship, the Lady Tigers won 45-41.
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