Black Diamond teams lose home conference games to Poteau
The Sallisaw High School basketball teams suffered a pair of home NOAA Conference losses to the visiting Poteau teams Tuesday night at Paul Post Field House.
The Lady Diamonds saw a fourth-quarter lead slip away in a 37-33 loss to the Lady Pirates, then the Pirates completed the sweep with a 44-36 win over the Black Diamonds.
POTEAU 37, SALLISAW 33
A conventional three-point play by Kayli Macon gave the Lady Diamonds (4-8 overall, 1-3 in NOAA Conference play) a 27-23 lead with 5:44 left in the game.
However, the Lady Pirates (66. 3-2) ended the game with a 14-6 run to complete the comefrom- behind victory, although Sallisaw had the last score as Hannah Palmer hit a 3-point basket at the buzzer.
A pair of free throws by Sydney Weedon with three seconds left in the first quarter put Sallisaw ahead 7-6 going into the second period.
After Poteau’s Brooklyn Garner opened the second quarter with a basket to put her team back ahead 8-7, the Lady Diamonds ended the first half on a 6-0 run, capped by a basket by Abby Kate Qualls with 67 seconds left in the first half, to give Sallisaw a 13-8 lead at halftime.
Sallisaw’s third-quarter lead got as high as six points twice, the last time at 17-11 after Weedon’s basket with 5:47 left in the period, but the Lady Pirates closed out the period on an 8-5 run as Poteau’s Parker Patterson hit a basket with 1:57 remaining in the quarter to cut the Sallisaw advantage to 22-19 entering the final period.
After Poteau cut the deficit to a single point twice in the early stages of the fourth quarter, the last of those two instances came at the 6:01 mark of the period on Patterson’s basket to make it 24-23, Macon’s oldfashioned three-point play put Sallisaw ahead 27-23, setting up Poteau’s comeback rally.
Despite the loss, Sallisaw first-year coach Eric Carr was pleased with what he saw, all except the finish — especially after two rough games last week to close out the 2024 Sequoyah County Tournament.
“I think that was as complete a game as we’ve played,” Carr said. “In the end, we didn’t turn the ball over to lose a basketball game. Their two best players (Garner and Patterson) made plays and got a couple of buckets for them. We got down to the rim and got some good opportunities to finish. I thought we really executed and played as solid a basketball game as we have all year. We just didn’t finish.”
In defeat, Macon led Sallisaw with 13 points, followed by Weedon with eight points, Qualls with seven points, Palmer with three points and Molly Carver, who returned to action after missing Saturday’s SCT third-place game after suffering an injury in the championship semifinals against Muldrow on Jan. 4, with two points.
POTEAU 44, SALLISAW 36
Things started well for the Black Diamonds (6-6 overall, 1-3 in NOAA Conference play) as Wes Rodriguez nailed a 3-point basket to start the game for a 3-0 lead with 6:34 remaining in the first quarter.
After Poteau’s Wyatt Gamble tied the game 3-all with a 3-pointer of his own at the 5:05 mark of the period, the Black Diamonds ended the period on a 10-0 run, capped by Cooper Jackson’s basket with 1:35 left in the quarter, for a 13-3 lead entering the second period.
However, it was the second quarter where things started turning in favor of the Pirates (6-6 3-2) as Poteau outscored Sallisaw 13-1 in the period for a 1614 halftime lead. The lone point in the second quarter for the Black Diamonds was a free throw by Cooper Cox which at the time put Sallisaw ahead 14-7 with 4:21 remaining before halftime. The Pirates finished the first half with a 9-0 run.
Poteau’s advantage got to eight points at 2214 after Darrion Brooks hit two free throws with 3:43 remaining in the third quarter, but the Black Diamonds cut their deficit to 22-18 with 2:42 left in the period on Cox’s free throw.
However, a 3-pointer by Gamble upped Poteau’s lead to the largest of the game to that point at 2718 with 2:09 remaining in the quarter. A free throw by Rustyn Romero with 27 seconds remaining in the period cut Poteau’s lead to 27-23 going into the fourth quarter.
A basket by Cox to begin the final period got the Black Diamonds to within two points at 2725 with 7:34 left to play, but Sallisaw got no closer as Poteau built its biggest lead of the night at 11 points at 44-33 with 12 seconds remaining in the game on a free throw by Tulsa football signee Dax Collins.
As a silver lining in the clouds would have it, the Black Diamonds did better at the free-throw line in Tuesday night’s game than in Friday night’s Sequoyah County Tournament consolation finals against Gore, in which they were 10-of-29 (34 percent), but still won 51-49. In Tuesday’s loss, they were 8-of-17 (47 percent) from the charity stripe, but it still was a factor leading to the Poteau victory.
In defeat, Jackson led Sallisaw with nine points, followed by Max Stump with seven points, Cox and Kenyan Hill with six points each, Rodriguez and Brodie Cameron each with three points and Romero with two points.