FLETCHER — Fletcher senior Hayden Taliaferro accounted for 15 of his 22 points in the first quarter as Sterling quickly jumped in front of Fletcher Tuesday night enroute to a 54-25 win.
Taliaferro scored Sterling’s first eight points and finished the first half with all 22 of his game-high 22 points. The win improved Sterling’s season record to 7-6 after suffering through a four-game losing skid in mid-December.
Sterling tallied 27 points in the first quarter, which is the most by the Tigers in one period this season. Defensively, Sterling held Fletcher to six points in the first eight minutes and were limited to zero points in the second quarter. At the same time, Sterling tallied 13 second quarter points as the Tigers took a 40-6 halftime advantage.
Sterling head coach Trent Parrish said he was pleased with the beginning of January’s games.
“It’s not that we have an easier schedule, but better matchups,” he said. “We shot well and didn’t give them (Fletcher) a chance to breathe. We talked a lot about getting that early lead.”
Senior leadership also received praise from their head coach.
“Hayden is a pretty special player and he played really well. So did Nate, Jayden and Max. We did all the little things to be successful,” Parrish said.
Max Puccio and Riley Lile each added six points in the winning effort while Jayden Huitt scored five.
Parrish played Sterling’s reserves most of the second half while the starters received rest heading into this weekend’s Black Diamond Tournament in Rush Springs.
“I wanted to get them (reserves) that playing time and a chance to show what they can do,” he said.
Sterling was scheduled to play Gracemont in the tournament’s first round Thursday. However, results were not available at press time. With a win, Sterling was set to play the winner of the Waurika-Washington JV game at 5:40 p.m. Friday.
The Tigers return to regular season action Jan. 10 at Ninnekah before hosting Alex Jan. 13.