Tahlequah Tigers Basketball – Presented by Stuteville Ford of Tahlequah

Tahlequah Tigers

BOYS

Coach: Duane Jones

18-19 Record: 12-12

With the return of four starters to the Tigers lineup, the optimism for success is skyrocketing for Tahlequah this season. VYPE Top 100 pick Jaxon Jones (6-2, Sr.) will once again maximize a 40 percent average from behind the arc to bolster a 17 point per game scoring production while passing out 4.3 assists and collecting 4.7 rebounds with support from Tyler Joice (5-10 So.) who contributed 3.8 points last season as a freshman. A solid paint presence will come from Hayden Wagers (6-2, Jr.) who grabbed 5.4 rebounds while averaging 9.5 points per game along with Tanner Christian (6-4, Jr.) along with the length of Hunter Brinkley (6-5, Sr.) and Kooper McAlvain (6-2, Sr.).  Depth is a “must have” need in Class 5A basketball and head coach Duane Jones will use the talents of Simeon Armstrong (5-9, Sr.), David Burdine (5-10, Sr.), Qua’shon Leathers (5-9, Jr.) and Hunter Smith (6-0, Jr.) in the rotation of guards while Tristan King (6-2, Sr.) will offer valuable minutes at forward.

“Experience and versatility is a big plus for us this year since we have nine players who saw plenty of action last season,” said Jones who begins his third season at Tahlequah. “Jaxon and Kooper are always a threat from the three point line and Hayden can step outside and score from the perimeter as well as on the block. The combined athleticism of this year’s lineup will give us a chance to score and also dictate an outcome with defensive pressure. You need to play hard on both ends of the court to succeed in Class 5A.”

GIRLS

David Qualls

17-18 Record: 19-8

The Lady Tigers, who were one step shy of reaching the Class 5A state tournament for a third straight season last year, welcome the return of three starters to provide the foundation of a relatively young squad as head coach David Qualls begins his fifth year as head coach.  The youthful lineup includes experience as Faith Springwater (5-10, So.), who was a key performer last season as a freshman scoring 7.9 points per game while grabbing 4.9 rebounds reunites with Kloe Bowin (6-1, Sr.) who totaled 7.2 points and 4.2 rebounds to give Qualls a dual threat in the paint. The ball movement skills of Kacey Fishinghawk (5-4, Jr.) who averaged 39-percent from beyond the arc while adding 6.2 points per contest will be a key to the Lady Tigers efforts this year as well as the contributions of Kynli Heist (5-6, Sr.), Lydia McAlvain (5-8, So.) and Lily Couch (5-7, So.). “We’re going to be younger than we were last year but these girls know what it takes to win,” said Qualls. “Faith and Kloe will give us a chance to consistently play inside out. Give us some playing time for the younger kids to get battle tested and we’ll be competitive and good to go when it matters most.”