LOCUST GROVE —
Locust Grove lost their second game of the season Tuesday against 10th-ranked Ft. Gibson 57-43.
The home loss ended a three game winning streak for the Pirates.
Locust Grove began the game maintaining a close lead to end the first period up 23-17.
LG made four three-point shots in the first, two coming from sophomore Tyler Rowland.
Junior Taylor Halpain made one from beyond the arc as time expired for the period.
After a solid offensive start for the Pirates, they slowed down in the second period.
LG only scored six points in the second and lost the lead going into halftime.
LG trailed 30-29 at the half.
Senior point guard David Stone scored five points in the first half, but ended the game as the team’s leading scorer with 13.
Senior Reed Bryant and sophomore Tyler Rowland scored eight apiece.
Locust Grove came out of the locker room struggling offensively. Ft. Gibson went on an eight point run until Locust Grove freshman post Jason Pirtle made a contested layup with 1:35 remaining in the third period.
Pirtle’s layup was the Pirates’ only points of the period. LG trailed by 10 entering the fourth period, but Stone eventually cut the lead to four after a three-pointer midway through the period.
Following Stone’s three, Ft. Gibson began a 10-point run to end the game.
The loss brought the Pirates record to 4-2 on the season.
After the game, Head Coach Ronnie Maple said his team needs to toughen up, both physically and mentally.
“Right now were just not real physically and mentally tough,” Maple said. “Right now with our youth I think it’s getting better. We have to come back after break with that Locust Grove physical and mental toughness that we’ve always had in the years past.”
Locust Grove will not play again until Jan. 4 at Keys.
The Lady Pirates dropped their record to 4-2 after losing to Ft. Gibson 71-48 at home.
The Lady Tigers are ranked second in class 4A girls’ basketball with an 8-0 record.
Locust Grove had trouble stopping Ft. Gibson from beyond the arc, which helped the Lady Tigers to a 10-point lead after one period of play.
LG improved their defense in the second period, holding Ft. Gibson to 10 points.
LG trailed 35-23 going into the locker room.
Sophomore Madison Davis scored 11 points in the first half and ended the game with 16 to lead her team in scoring.
The second half mimicked the first half, as Ft. Gibson continued to make multiple three-pointers and out-rebound the Lady Pirates.
Locust Grove’s two losses have come at home against top-10 opponents.
LG lost to 10th-ranked Vinita early in the season.
The loss to Ft. Gibson snapped the Lady Pirates’ three-game winning streak. Junior Sydnie Pierce says she is disappointed with the team thus far.
“We haven’t quite turned that corner and beat a team we’re not supposed to beat,” Pierce said. Pierce says the team will improve their confidence and discipline and work on blocking out during the season’s break.
The Lady Pirates play at Keys, Jan. 4.