BETHANY — Fort Gibson weathered the storm.
After watching an 11-point lead against Weatherford nearly evaporate in the third quarter, the Tigers responded in a big way Thursday.
Allie Glover nailed a 3-pointer near the end of the third to spark an 11-4 run and second-ranked Fort Gibson never looked back en route to a 59-46 victory over the fifth-ranked Eagles in the Class 4A quarterfinals at the Sawyer Center.
Fort Gibson (27-1) plays Cushing at 8 p.m. Friday in the Sawyer Center in hopes of getting back to its third straight title game.
And despite this being the Tigers' ninth straight trip to the state tournament, they still feel like they have to earn respect.
“People don't really take us that seriously and every year we come back and prove ourselves,” senior Brooke Palmer said.
Palmer and Co., though, delivered a statement performance.
Fort Gibson led by as many as 14 in the second half. It also shut down 6-foot-1 junior Chandler Roof, limiting her to seven points.
“That was the goal to make it a very uncomfortable afternoon, not let her have any free time to look around and do what she does because she's a good player,” said Fort Gibson coach Jerry Walker.
And that came with a little help from the boys basketball team, which allowed three players to practice with the girls this week.
“When they first got there we weren't making good passing decisions,” Palmer said. “So it helped us slow down and make better decisions all together.”
Palmer scored 17 points, while Glover scored 14 and Savannah Gray added 10.
Both teams combined for three lead changes in the first, but Fort Gibson never trailed after the first quarter.
Rylie Torrey and Macy Stark scored 10 points apiece for Weatherford, which ends the season 25-3.