The Antlers Lady Cats traveled to Talihina for the Choctaw Nation Invitational Basketball Tournament this last weekend. The Lady Cats faced three tough opponents to come away with the championship trophy and All Tournament Team honors. The Lady Cat’s first opponent was The Sallisaw Black Diamonds. The Lady Cats prevailed over the Lady Diamonds with a final score of 51 to 40, advancing them to the semi final game. The Lady Cat stats were as follows: Cheyanne Simpson, 13 points, 1 assist and 8 rebounds; Megan Brame, 12 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds; Chelsie Thomas, 11 points, 2 assists and 4 rebounds; Kendie Bryant, 7 points, 4 assists and 2 rebounds; Meagan Wilburn, 7 points, 1 assist and 3 rebounds. The team shot 11 for 16 at the free throw line for 69%.
With the win against the Lady Diamonds, the Lady Cats advanced to the semi finals and faced the Talihina Lady Tigers. The game was a close fought battle against two rival teams. At the end of regulation, the score was tied at 40 which put the game in overtime. The Lady Cats would not be denied the championship game and fought hard to edge out the Lady Tigers in overtime, 45 to 42. The Lady Cat stats were as follows: Kendie Bryant, 13 points, 1 rebound; Meagan Wilburn, 11 points, 2 assists and 3 rebounds; Cheyanne Simpson, 9 points, 4 assists, 1 rebound and 1 blocked shot; Megan Brame, 7 points and 6 rebounds; Chelsie Thomas, 5 points, 3 assists, 5 rebounds and 1 blocked shot; Emma Branton, 1 assist. The team shot 7 for 10 at the free throw line for 70%.
With the overtime win against the Lady Tigers, the Lady Cats reached the tournament final against the Lone Grove Lady Longhorns who defeated the ranked Lady Rattan Rams in the semi final game! The Lady Longhorns were 3-0 coming into this game and the Lady Cats were 4-0. The Talihina gymnasium was packed for the final games. Rattan fans and Antlers fans were seated together as the community was pulling for a Lady Cat victory. Both the Lady Cats and the Lady Longhorns were prepared to fight for the championship trophy and at the end of the first period of play, the score was tied at 5. However, the Lady Cats were in this battle to win and at the end of two periods of play, the Lady Cats went into the locker room with a 5 point lead at 22 to 17. The Lady Longhorns were determined as well and came out to play after half and would not go away. At the end of the third period the Lady Cats held a small lead of 28 to 24. The final period was an exciting one with the Lady Longhorns catching up and passing the Lady Cats in the final few minutes; however, the Lady Cats again would not be denied a victory or the championship trophy. In the final two minutes the Lady Cats hit a 3 point shot to pull ahead by one. The Lady Cats did not want to lose the lead again and played tough defense and kept the ball away from the Lady Longhorns, forcing them to foul in order to stop the clock. The Lady Cats accurately shot their free throws in the final minute to secure the victory 43 to 38.
The Lady Cat’s free throw shooting percentage was 89% with the Lady Cats hitting 17 of 19 free throws! The Lady Cat Stats were as follows: Cheyanne Simpson, 13 points, 2 rebounds; Kendie Bryant, 11 points, 3 assists and 1 rebound; Emma Branton, 8 points, 5 rebounds; Meagan Wilburn, 4 points, 2 assists, 5 rebounds and 1 blocked shot and two charges taken; Chelsie Thomas, 4 points, 1 assist and 1 rebound; Meagan Brame, 3 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound.
The Lady Cats had 3 players selected to all tournament team. In addition, the Lady Cats moved to 20th in Class 3A.