After blowing out Meeker on Friday, the Prague Red Devils were forced to overcome a magnificent second-half comeback by the Bulldogs Monday night in the first round of the 66 Conference Tournament at McLoud High School.
McLOUD – After blowing out Meeker on Friday, the Prague Red Devils were forced to overcome a magnificent second-half comeback by the Bulldogs Monday night in the first round of the 66 Conference Tournament at McLoud High School.
Colby Smith’s running jumper in the lane with four seconds to go lifted Prague to a 59-57 victory.
“You have to give them credit. We were up by 30 them on Friday (a 58-38 Red Devil win) and we were up on them by 15 in this game,” said Prague head coach Nate Greer. “The difference this time is that they made shots and we didn’t pick them up in transition and didn’t hedge.”
Prague, which improved to 10-5 on the season, led 41-26 with 7:00 to go in the third quarter, but saw Meeker score 12 straight points to slice the deficit to 41-38 as Cade Patterson uncorked back-to-back 3-point jumpers to spark that uprising. Xaiver Masquas followed with consecutive buckets and Levi Watham hit a shot with 3:08 left in the third.
The Bulldogs, who fell to 3-10, forced a 44-all deadlock at the end of three periods when Kade Brewster splashed in a trey with 23 seconds remaining.
Meeker then scored the first four points of the fourth quarter – both baskets by Masquas – to go up 48-44.
But a Trevor McGinnis drive to the hoop for two and a Smith trey off a Trip Davis kick-out pass gave the Red Devils the lead back again at 49-48 with 6:13 remaining. From there the game was a nip-and-tuck affair as it was tied three more times, the latter of which was 57-57 off a basket by the Bulldogs’ Zack Cook with 23 seconds left.
Smith and McGinnis were the top scorers for Prague with 13 each. Davis tallied 11 and Isaiah Bias added eight, including a pair of 3-point buckets. Nate Lester chipped in six points as he and Smith connected for one trey apiece.
Brewster had a solid shooting night, converting 7-of-14 tries on his way to a game-leading 21 points for Meeker. He nailed three 3-point baskets along the way and was a perfect 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. Masquas followed with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field and Patterson had the two treys on his way to six points. Cook also netted six points in a losing effort.
The Bulldogs controlled the boards by a 37-20 margin, but fell victim to 20 turnovers compared to the Red Devils’ 13. Smith and Lester each recorded two steals for Prague and Jacob Martin had two for Meeker.
Prague’s biggest runs of the night were an 8-0 spurt to start the game and a 9-0 spree in the second quarter. Two 3-pointers by Isaiah Bias made it 8-0 and the 9-0 run in the second was highlighted by a steal and layup, along with a 3-point basket by Eli Bias.
But pesky Meeker managed to crawl back into contention.
Levi Watham had 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs.
Prague advances to Friday’s 5:20 p.m. semifinals against the winner of today’s 5:20 p.m. first-round clash between Seminole and Holdenville. Meeker plays the Seminole-Holdenville loser at 5:20 p.m. Thursday in consolation bracket action.
PRAGUE 46, MEEKER 24 (Girls)
The Class 3A 11th-ranked Lady Red Devils forced 31 Lady Bulldog turnovers in the win, led by four steals from Jaycee Johnson.
Taylor Hodges tossed in a game-high 16 points while connecting on three treys and hitting 3-of-4 free shots. She also had four rebounds and a pair of steals. Johnson followed with 10 points, including two 3-point buckets, and Diana Manning ended up with nine points while converting 5-of-6 charity tosses.
Madison Hedge led Meeker with eight points to go with seven boards. Kaitlyn Culp totaled eight rebounds for the Lady Bulldogs.
Except for an early 2-all tie, Prague led from start to finish. After the early deadlock, the Lady Devils responded with five straight points and had a 12-4 advantage by the end of the first quarter.
Six straight points to launch the second period led to a 15-5 quarter and a 27-9 halftime cushion. Meeker was limited to one field goal in the period.
The Prague advantage swelled to 34-9 to start the third quarter off a Manning basket and back-to-back scores by Hodges, the first of which was a trey.
The Lady Devil lead was at 46-16 early in the fourth.
Prague, 13-2, will take on the McLoud-Seminole winner at 6:40 p.m. Thursday in the semifinals. McLoud and Seminole will square off tonight at 6:40. Meeker will face the McLoud-Seminole loser at 6:40 p.m. Friday in consolation bracket play.