The Lady Tigers more than doubled St. Mary in rebounding, 41-18.
“That was a key,” Palmer said. “We knew they crashed the boards really hard and we knew we had to scrap harder than they did.”
Fort Gibson (29-1) was making its ninth consecutive trip to the state tourney and third straight to the championship game. The Lady Tigers won the title in 2011 and were runners-up last year.
“We have a saying up in our locker room, ‘tradition never graduates,'” Walker said. “Our expectations don't change, players change.”
St. Mary (25-6) was playing in its first state championship game and making only its second appearance in the tournament.
But next season looks bright for the Lady Rockets as they did not have a senior in the starting lineup.
“On paper, it looks good,” Hamilton said. “It's a matter of preparing and trying to get back.”