Jeff Cali Sports Editor email@example.com
One just can’t see things like this coming.
Heading into a semfinal matchup with Class 4A power Tuttle, the host Tigers must have known they were goig to have their hands full in Friday’s late, late, late game of the 2014 Konawa Invitational.
But few in the Konawa gym would have believed they’d witness the show that Tuttle junior guard Tyler Lester would put on.
Lester, a move-in from Choctaw, had the outing of his prep career as he knocked down a dirty dozen 3-pointers on his way to a career-high 38 points. Lester outscored the entire Konawa team by himself as Tuttle buried the Konawa Tigers 76-32.
Konawa (3-5) was scheduled to face Lexington for third place Saturday night while the other Tigers (No. 16 in Class 4A) battled Dale (7-3) in the title game.
The hometown Tigers enjoyed a 4-3 lead after an early steal and layup by Haydoekeyo Tsosie. Lester then gave Konawa a sign of things to come by hitting back-to-back 3-pointers (the first made basket of the game was a Lester trifecta) in the span of less than a minute to give Tuttle a 9-4 lead.
The metro-based Tigers would never trail again.
Lester opened the second quarter with a layup — his only attempt inside the arc the entire game — and then hit two more treys in an 11-3 surge to open the second quarter. That run was capped by a 3-pointer from Jett Jobe that put the THS Tigers on top 24-11.
Silas Larney broke a Konawa dry spell with two free throws at the 4:23 mark of the period.
Lester then hit back-to-back treys again — the first that rolled in after the soft touch and the second from the far corner — that helped Tuttle end the first half on a 12-2 run that saw the THS Tigers push their lead to 36-15 at the break.
Lester, who finished the game hitting a blistering 12-of-19 3-point attempts — already had six triples and 23 points by intermission.
During a 14-4 Tuttle start to the third quarter, Lester hit two more of his triples. That volley was capped by a 3-pointer from Cainan Anthony at the 4:02 mark that found Konawa trailing 50-19.
Konawa scored the next six points on consecutive baskets by Zach Snow, Branden Davis and Tsosie, but Lester would never let the host TIgers keep any momentum. He hit his 10th and 11th 3-pointers in the closing minute of the third period — his last one that put Tuttle ahead 58-25.
Lester, playing with four Tuttle reserves, hit his final 3-pointer with 4:36 to make it 66-32. Jobe added 14 points and four steals for Tuttle while Jobe followed with 14 points, five rebounds and four steals. Tristan Thompson added seven points and nine rebounds.
As a team, Tuttle hit 16-of-29 3-point shots.
Snow scored nine points to go with six rebounds for the KHS Tigers, while Larney added eight points.
Konawa was hampered by 29 turnovers, but a handful of those came when reserves were on the floor.
Konawa girls surge by Wetumka
KONAWA — The Konawa Lady Tigers used a big second quarter to rally past Wetumka in a 45-35 win in consolation play Friday at the Konawa Invitational.
After Wetumka grabbed a 10-7 first-quarter lead, the tournament hosts outscored the Lady Chieftains 20-6 in the second period to go on top 27-16 at the half.
Wetumka got within two points in the second half before Konawa pulled away for the 10-point victory.
Freshman Cheyenne Galimba had one of her best outings of the season, scoring 12 points to lead the Lady Tigers (3-5). Brittany West added 10 points of the bench for Konawa while Reagan Scott chipped in nine points and 10 rebounds.
Konawa made 17-of-31 free throws in the game, including 6-of-10 in the fourth quarter during a game-ending 12-7 run.
Lainey Hill led Wetumka with 17 points while Kylie Oliver just missed double figures with nine.