KONAWA – Thursday in Konawa, Maud lost one game, three fans, one airhorn, and a coach.
It was a rough night to say the least.
Referees allowing more physical play in the playoffs in an attempt to let the players determine the outcome of the game instead of a series of whistles is common, but when things get out of control – as they did during Maud’s 56-50 loss to Stonewall – it can get bad quick.
Both teams struggled on offense early. Maud was all over the boards, but multiple offensive rebounds didn't translate to scoring for the Lady Tigers. They trailed 13-10 after the first and frustration built up referees were allowed contact from the defense on contested shots.
Coach Ty Harmon got a quick reaction out of one of the officials in the second quarter when he questioned a call. The quick technical led to a strange situation.
During the free throws, a fan from Maud sounded an air horn. Officials stopped the game while Maud school officials searched for the outlawed noisemaker and play resumed after several minutes of stoppage. The teams battled for the remaining time and Maud trailed 23-21 at the half.
After the break, the game spun out of control. Jocee Sparks was called for her fourth foul with 3:24 left in the third on a controversial call under the basket that came from an official near half-court.
On the next trip down the floor, Cassidy Harmon was seemingly fouled driving through the lane for a shot. With no call on the attempt and possession going to Stonewall, coach Harmon argued the lack of a foul and was whistled for his second technical leading to his ejection from the game. He will also miss Friday’s consolation bracket game as a result.
During the aftermath and ensuing plays, two Maud fans were kicked out for being too outspoken in their criticism of the officials.
Without their coach for part of the quarter, the Lady Tigers weren’t able to overcome a 10-3 foul differential and found themselves down 49-30 after three quarters.
Stonewall extended the lead to 53-30 and Cassidy Harmon and Sparks brought the Lady Tigers back into it until Sparks was called for her fifth foul with 2:52 to play.
Kaylee Sanders picked up the slack and scored six of her 14 points late in the game with one of her baskets cutting the lead to 55-50 before Stonewall sealed the 56-50 win.
There was some confusion with the official scorers showing Maud with 52 points in the books but only 50 on the scoreboard.
Harmon and Sanders led the Lady Tigers with 14 apiece and Sparks scored 13 despite being limited by foul trouble. Jordan Brewer added eight and Jada Wright had three.
Maud falls to 19-7 on the season while Stonewall improves to 17-10.
Maud is back in action in an elimination game at Konawa Friday at 1:30 p.m. against Velma-Alma (17-9) who beat Achille 58-40 Thursday night.