BEGGS — Seminole fell into an early hole and couldn’t quite recover Friday night in dropping a 60-55 decision to ninth-ranked Roland in a Class 4A area tournament matchup.
Roland scooted out to a 20-11 advantage after one quarter and was up 32-25 by the intermission.
The Chieftains whittled the margin to three points at one third-quarter juncture, only to have Roland assume a 45-37 margin heading into the final quarter.
Seminole cut the margin to two points with 1:20 to play but missed a couple of decent-looking shots. Roland clinched the outcome with two free throws with seven seconds left.
“We had some clean shots but just didn’t make them,” Seminole coach Josh Edenborough said. “We really fought hard.”
Roland, with the win, advanced to next week’s state tournament. Seminole (20-5) will have one more shot at achieving a state tournament berth when it collides with Jay at 8 p.m. tonight. Jay, ranked 14th, remained alive with a victory over eighth-ranked Tulsa Metro Christian.
Shemmario Stephens propelled Seminole offensively with 18 points. Adam Nance finished with 12 points despite foul problems. Nance picked up three fouls before sitting out the final three minutes of the opening half. He picked up a quick third-quarter foul and was sidelined from the six-minute mark of the third quarter to the six-minute mark of the last quarter.
Kason Clark added 10 points, including two of Seminole’s three field goals from 3-point range.
Roland was 10 of 17 from the free-throw line. Seminole was 2 of 4.
“Jay is very similar to Roland, almost identical,” Edenborough said. “We will have to stay out of foul trouble. This is a great environment, battling for the state tournament.”
Seminole reached last year’s area consolation finals needing just one victory to go to the state tournament but fell to Harrah. Oklahoma freshman Brady Manek was a member of that Harrah squad.