Tigers capture top honors at Sarcoxie Invitational with win over Okla. team

Thursday, January 28, 2010
Exeter boys are tourney champs Photo by Lucretia Brattin The Exeter Tigers brought home the championship trophy from the Sarcoxie Invitational this past weekend by defeating Commerce, Okla., 72-67. In the front row, from left, are: Quentin Howe, Justin Brattin, Zach Wubker, Brock Sorensen and Scott Newman. Second row: James Kho, manager, John Kho, Ryan Hobbs, Colten Stringer, manager, Tanner White, manager, Cody Stringer, Thomas Lee and Anthony Daniels, manager. Third row: Assistant Coach Jesse Paulsen, Tyler White, Brendan Rayburn, Michael Thomas, Kong Lee and Head Coach Scott White.

These Tigers have more teeth than stripes.

The Exeter Tigers shook off a disappointing eight-game losing streak and focused on playing their brand of basketball at the Sarcoxie Invitational. The amazing Tigers shocked the field with a string of victories to capture the first place trophy on Saturday, knocking off a stubborn Commerce (Okla.) team 72-67.

Exeter opened tournament play on Tuesday night and easily outdistanced College Heights Christian of Joplin. Thursday night's challenge was of a "taller" order as the Tigers faced the host Sarcoxie Bears and their 6'4" center, Ethan Huff. Exeter overcame an 11-point deficit to defeat the Bears, 75-72, and earn a shot at the trophy on Saturday.

"Against Sarcoxie, I thought our backside rotation was not good and had it not been for great defense by Cody Stringer and Ryan Hobbs, we don't win," emphasized Exeter Coach Scott White.

Word of the mini-streak spread, and a large crowd was on hand early on Saturday afternoon to see if the Tigers could accomplish the improbable.

How big was this game for Exeter? You can usually judge the significance of a high school basketball game by the attire of the head coach. As a rule of thumb, regular season games get the neat but ordinary look, while district tournaments and beyond get the suits. Coach White appeared in a better suit than Bernie Madoff wore to his sentencing hearing, and he looked a lot better too.

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