By CRAIG HALL
The top four seeds in both the boys and girls’ brackets advanced to the semifinals, but the road was hardly easy for the top-seeded Spiro boys and the fourth-seeded Poteau boys.
Spiro had to score the final seven points to defeat Arkoma, 83-79, while Poteau scored the last eight points to defeat LeFlore, 34-26, in a defensive battle at Cameron.
The girls’ semifinals are Thursday and will pit second-seeded Heavener against third-seeded Poteau at 7 p.m. with top-seeded Howe taking on fourth-seeded Spiro in a rematch of last season’s championship game won by the Lady Lions.
The boys will play their semifinals on Friday. Spiro and Poteau will play for the third time this season after the Bulldogs won the prior meetings, at 7 p.m. while second-seeded Talihina takes on third-seeded Wister at 8:30 p.m.
All four semifinal games will be played at the Stubblefield Center on the campus of UAFS.
Spiro’s boys trailed Arkoma, 79-76, with just over a minute remaining before the Bulldogs stayed alive for the championship with the win. LeFlore had trailed the entire game after falling behind early before the Savages finally got the tie late in the contest.
Poteau also rallied, scoring the final eight points to allow the Pirates a shot at defending the championship they won last year over Talihina.
Talihina’s boys grabbed a big lead early over Heavener, fought off a rally by the Wolves and went on to take a 62-40 win.
Wister’s boys grabbed the final semifinal berth with a 93-74 win at Howe over the Lions.
For the girls, Howe had little trouble in advancing with an 84-47 win over Talihina.
Heavener’s girls had a struggle for the first three quarters before finally wearing down Cameron in a 66-38 win. The Lady Wolves only held a 44-34 lead going into the final period before outscoring the Lady Jackets 22-4 in the final period.
The third-seeded Poteau girls ran all over Wister, 69-24, while Spiro had little trouble in a 56-22 victory over Pocola.
In the two consolation games on Tuesday, Bokoshe got a split. The Lady Tigers stayed alive in the loser’s bracket with a 32-28 win over Arkoma while the Tigers fell to Cameron, 69-57.
All of Wednesday’s games are in the consolation bracket.
For the boys, Arkoma plays LeFlore at 5:30 p.m. at Cameron and Whitesboro and Cameron pair off at 5:30 p.m. at Panama. Heavener and Howe hook up at 8:30 p.m. at Panama while Pocola and Panama play at 8:30 p.m. at Cameron.
On the girls’ side of the bracket, Talihina and Pocola play at 4 p.m. at Panama while Whitesboro and Bokoshe play at 4 p.m. at Cameron. In the late games, LeFlore and Panama play at 7 p.m. at Panama and Wister and Cameron play at 7 p.m. at Cameron.
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