The third time was the charm, but four was too much to ask for.
Class 4A’s fifth-ranked Tecumseh Savages felt the pressure early and couldn’t top No. 17 Ada for the first time in four meetings this season, succumbing 57-46 in the most important meeting between the two teams yet — a winners’ bracket matchup in a regional tournament.
“It was one of our worst games defensively,” THS head coach Eric Litherland said. “We let them get to the paint and get buckets.
“Our defense was junior high-ish.”
Tecumseh held the Cougars’ leading scorer, Cory Kilby, to just five points, but fellow Cougars John Stout and Walker Whitworth were more than adequate replacements in the scoring column, teaming up to score 37 points.
Julio Hukill guided Tecumseh with a baker’s dozen. Teammate Dakota Davis registered a double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds) while Colton Owen came back from an ankle injury to chase a double-double of his own.
The Savages went 3-1 without Owen, who scored nine points and pulled down eight boards.
Tecumseh posted the same 3-1 record against Ada this season, with a potential matchup in the 4A area tournament still possible.
“Hats off to them,” Litherland said. “They did what they had to do.”
Now 21-4, the Savages suddenly find themselves in an uphill battle to reach the state tournament, needing to win two more games just to reach the area tournament.
Tecumseh will head to Newcastle today to take on the Racers in consolation action.
Note: Report compiled by Chuck Porter.