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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Sulphur, Tishomingo meet in top 10 battle

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  • For Tishomingo, it's an opportunity to pick up its biggest win of the season.
    For Sulphur, it's a chance to seize control of the Lake Country Conference for good this season.
    For both sides, it's a marquee matchup tonight. No. 1 Sulphur vs. No. 7 Tishomingo.
    Tishomingo is riding an eight-game winning streak into its biggest test of the season. Sulphur's the only team in the LCC that can claim a longer stretch of success.
    The Bulldogs are unbeaten, winners of 19 games in a row. In two meetings last season, Sulphur won 55-34 and 47-35, the second meeting coming in the regional playoffs.
    But Tish (17-3, 5-1 LCC) enters tonight's game playing arguably its best basketball of the season. The Indians hit 12 3-pointers in a 68-36 win over Lone Grove on Friday.
    Sulphur coach Toby Todd knows last year's results are long gone.
    "For them to be shooting the ball the way they have the last couple of games makes it tough on the defense," Todd said. We'll have our work cut out for us."
    The biggest battles will certainly be on the defensive end for two teams which thrive off of the press and force turnovers.
    Sulphur has only given up 40 points or more three times this season. The Bulldogs are up against a Tishomingo frontcourt rotation of Carolyne Lawley, Infiniti Cheadle, Kailee Thomas, Chealsea Wilkinson and Tea Elliott-Fox, all of whom are 5-foot-8 or taller.
    "All year long — when we played Tulsa Union, Georgetown Brige Creek, Davis — most teams have one good tall post," Todd said. "We're kinda used to being undersized.
    "I think that one of their major strengths is how well their posts pass to one another. I think that'll be key: how well we defend their bigs."
    Tishomingo's challenge will be keeping Sulphur's perimeter players in check, with seniors guards Ashley Hughes and Tierani Richardson each scoring at a high rate.
    In Friday's games, however, Sulphur and Tishomingo showed off their offensive diversity. For all of its height, Tish was lethal from deep, with 10 3-pointers alone from point-forward Destiny Justus (six) and point guard Mariah Gunter (four).
    Known more for its point production from guards, Sulphur got 14 points apiece from forwards Ebony Harrison and Bailee Eldred in a win over Marietta.
    Two teams that can do a little bit of everything offensively, lock you down on defense and have legitimate state championship aspirations.
    What's not to like?
    "Anytime you go to Tishomingo and play, you expect a war," Todd said. "Them being highly ranked and us being highly ranked puts a little more perspective on the game "It'll be a battle."
    Page 2 of 2 - Erik K. Horne
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