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Tahlequah

Tahlequah Tigers Basketball preview – Presented By United Fidelity Funding Corp.

BOYS

Coach: Marcus Klingsick

20-21 Record: 13-11

Despite a move up to Class 6A competition this season, the Tigers return an experienced group of talent that will provide plenty of excitement this year.  Points in the paint will be a calling card for Tahlequah as Hayden Smith (6-7, Jr.) returns looking to build upon his near double-double contributions of 17.1 points and 9.6 rebounds per contest. “Hayden is very skilled on the block,” said head coach Marcus Klingsick. “Off the glass and at the rim, he’s a stud that will finish.” The Tigers’ front line poses another threat as Donavon Smith (6-4, So.) can drive to the rim for points plus score off the bounce as well as deny opponents scoring chances with his shot blocking talents. Tyler Joice (6-0, Sr.) returns to manage the offense at point guard while Cale Matlock (6-4, So.) and Shawn Young (6-0, Sr.) will boost the shooting talents from the perimeter.  Jaxon Stickels and Cade Matthews provide athleticism and blue-collar work ethic to this year’s roster. “It’s a good mix of experience to go with a very talented group of younger players that combined to give us a productive lineup plus depth,” said Klingsick, who begins his second year as head coach.  

GIRLS 

Coach: David Qualls

20-21 Record: 23-3

After reaching the state championship game last year, the Lady Tigers catapult into the Class 6A chase for the gold ball with all but one player returning and the experience to find success this season. Smalls Goudeau (5-9, Sr.) a UT-Arlington commit, tops the talented lineup for coach David Qualls after averaging 9.5 points and 3.5 rebounds while dishing out 3.4 assists last season. “Smalls is very strong and athletic,” replied the veteran head coach. “She knows how to play the game and what’s required to win.” The veteran lineup this season will showcase four more seniors all capable of leading the point production including fourth year team captain Faith Springwater (5-10, Sr.) who totaled 8.0 points and 4.1 rebounds plus Tatum Havens (5-9, Sr.) an early commit to East Central University who averaged 36-percent from beyond the 3-point line to average 8.1 points, Lydia McAlvain (5-7, Sr.) who contributed 7.3 points and Lily Couch (5-7, Sr.) who gives Tahlequah a solid perimeter defender. Kori Rainwater (6-0, So.) gives the Lady Tigers size and shot blocking skills inside where she contributed 8.3 points while securing 6.3 rebounds per contest a year ago as a freshman. Adding to the overall depth of talent will be Jadyn Buttery (5-10, So.) and Emily Morrison (5-11, Jr.). “Base upon game time experience of last year’s younger players, we have more depth that gives us a chance to be better than last season,” smiled Qualls who enters his ninth season as head coach of the Lady Tigers. “I like our scoring balance as a team as we had nobody over double digits last season.” 

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