MCLOUD – After trailing by five at halftime, the Tecumseh Savages outscored the McLoud Redskins 33-21 in the second half and won a hard fought game 49-42 Tuesday night.
“We are trending in the right direction,” Tecumseh coach Eric Litherland said. “When you get in the playoffs there will be a mix of teams that are struggling and teams that are playing well. There have been a few games where we've blown leads, but our guys have been playing well down the stretch. In the playoffs everyone is 0-0. It's a new season.”
The Savages struggled shooting the ball in the first quarter, making one field goal and making four of six from the free throw line. On the other side of the ball, McLoud was lights out, in part to Garrett Wilson and Brandon Vinson each scoring four points in the quarter.
“For whatever reason, we never shoot well in this gym,” Litherland said. “It's a tough environment and we knew that coming in. I think we shot a few more outside shots in the first half. Second half, I think we got some more looks at the rim and we finished.”
After trailing at halftime, Litherland switched up the game plan and started playing in the paint. He told his team they needed to play better in the second half if they wanted to come out on top.
“I told them McLoud did a great job of dictating the pace,” Litherland said. “If we could get some stops and mix in some made baskets we dictate the game. I think we did a lot better job in the second half.”
In the third quarter Ryan Fullbright scored six points to help his team get back in the game. Kameron Permetter also chipped in five points as well.
“Our guys do a great job. Kameron does a great job on the opposing team's point guard,” Litherland said. “It might not show up in the stat sheet but we have guys who are willing to step up and take charges behind him. Ryan also had a great game tonight. He got paint touches and finished around the rim.”
The fourth quarter was all Tecumseh, as they held the Redskins to six points. In the final minutes of the game, Tecumseh's Daniel Axton scored 10 points and was four of four from the charity stripe.
Axton led all scorers with 17. Fullbright contributed 11 points.
Wilson led McLoud with 14 points. Vinson joined him in double figures with 12.
Tecumseh (12-10) will travel to Seminole Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. McLoud (8-13) will host Chandler Thursday.