TAHLEQUAH — The Moore boys basketball team used a strong defensive effort to defeat Enid 70-38 Friday afternoon at the Tahlequah Multipurpose Activities Center in the consolation semifinals of the 2013 Tahlequah Tiger Invitational.
Moore (1-2) forced 27 turnovers (12 in the third quarter) and used 17 steals to dominate the Plainsmen (0-4). The Lions also led in points off turnovers (39-10), fast-break points (16-4) and blocks (11-3).
“Our key to what we do is defense. We pressure, we make teams turn the ball over, we rotate, and we cover for each other,” Moore coach A.J. Howell said. “Our play today was totally night and day compared to yesterday (when Moore lost 70-64 to Sand Springs). We had to make some adjustments and we were able to do that.”
Dante Butler scored a game-high 18 points for the Lions, knocking down 6 of 11 from the field and converting all four of his free-throw attempts. He also added five assists, five steals and three rebounds. Jaylon Wilson contributed 11 points and seven boards for the home team on the scoreboard.
Moore shot 41 percent from the field (26-for-63), 29 percent from downtown (6-for-21) and 75 percent from the free-throw line (12-for-16). No Enid player had more than six points. The Plainsmen shot 30 percent from the field (16-for-53), 0-for-12 from three-point territory and 38 percent at the free-throw line (6-for-16).
The Lions jumped out to a 23-6 lead at the end of the first quarter and held a 35-16 halftime advantage. They blew the game open with a 24-5 third quarter and held on for the final 32-point victory. Enid was just 2-for-14 in the third frame, and Moore had nine steals and seven blocks in the quarter.
“We needed a win like this after winning the tournament last year and getting handled by Sand Springs yesterday,” Howell said. “Today’s game was definitely a confidence booster.”
Moore will now face Coweta in the finals of the consolation bracket at 2:30 today. Enid will play Sapulpa at 11:30 a.m. in the seventh-place game.
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