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Choctaw wins two against Cherokee

By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
Dec. 29, 2000
PHILADELPHIA For Choctaw Central Lady Warriors head coach Wyatt Tullos and his troops, the participation at the inaugural Indian Country Country Classic may have been somewhat disappointing, but Thursday night's result surely suited him well.
The Lady Warriors shook off a pesky Cherokee, N.C. squad in the second half to take a 62-49 win. The Warriors also took the nightcap over the Cherokee Braves, 60-43. Play resumes today at 4:30 p.m. with the Warriors (4-10) taking on New Hope, a replacement team due to the absence of two tribal schools from Oklahoma who were unable to make the trip due to inclement weather.
The 6 p.m. and 7:30 games will pit the Lady Braves (7-2) and Braves (2-6) against Southeast Lauderdale.
Choctaw Central girls 62, Cherokee 49: This one was nip and tuck until a layup by Lady Brave post player Miranda Long gave Cherokee a 44-39 lead with 2:36 to go in the third quarter. The Lady Warriors responded with a 9-0 run that spilled over into the final frame. A stifling defense by Choctaw led to steals and easy baskets to fuel the outburst and served to hold the Lady Braves scoreless for 3:35.
Choctaw outscored Cherokee 16-10 in the third to take control of the contest. That was until three quick points by Long pulled Cherokee into the lead at 49-48. But the Lady Warriors responded with the 11-0 spurt to end the game and extend their home winning streak to 78 straight. Tullos' squads have not dropped a game at the reservation since February of 1995.
Chantay Frazier led the way for the Lady Warriors with 25 points. Melinda Ben added 13 and Ferne Denson chipped in with five down the stretch. The Lady Warriors sank 18-of-27 free throws. Long poured in a game-high 32 for the Lady Braves.
Choctaw Central 60, Cherokee 43: In game that ended with a parade to the free-throw line, the Warriors made more and pulled away with the aid of a relentless trapping, pressing defense, breaking a four-game losing streak.
The Braves made a statement early by hitting a trio of three-pointers.
After the Braves led 23-21 at the break, Choctaw took a 24-23 lead with 4:28 to go in the third and then blew the game open with a 21-2 quarter. Braden Sam was the architect of the run, scoring seven of his 18 points in the frame. Ira Ben and Beasley Willis added 11 and 10, respectively, to lead Choctaw.
For the Braves, Jeremy Wyatt was a force down low, leading his team with 12 points. Both teams lengthened the contest with 44 fouls, including 24 by the home team. John Gloyne and Joe Don Owle each had eight for Cherokee and Anslem Henry put in seven for the Warriors.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for the Meridian Star. E-mail him at rdark@themeridianstar.com.

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