EARLSBORO – Neither team was ready for their season to come to an end, but it was Asher who came from down 12 in the first quarter to beat Macomb 67-65 in overtime Friday in the first round of the district tournament at Earlsboro.
“That's a good ball club that we just played right there. Right down to the wire. I'm proud of my boys for getting that win,” Asher coach Jimmy Skender said.
It was all Macomb in the first quarter as the Hornets extended out to a 19-7 lead in the first eight minutes, capped on a trey by Ian Horn at the buzzer.
Horn landed two free-throws to start the second, but six unanswered points by Asher shortened the lead to eight early on in the frame. The Hornets got a couple back and Asher added another 12 straight to take their first lead of the game on a layup by Tray Odell with 3:10 remaining before the half. Macomb went into the break with a 27-26 lead and the teams traded blows through the third as the Indians emerged with a 42-40 lead going into the final quarter.
The turn around from the first to second quarter was in large part thanks to the Asher bench, Skender said. The starting crew didn't start the way they needed to and let things get out of hand, so he switched things up to calm them down a bit.
“We had six turnovers from that first quarter from travels. I think it was just nerves,” Skender said.
Caleb Browning hit a trey to give Macomb a short-lived as the back-and-forth continued and Horn made a layup on a foul and finished the 3-point opportunity to give Macomb a 46-45 advantage early into the fourth. Asher rallied with eight straight to extend ahead 53-46 on a rebound and putback by Trevor Martin with 4:36 remaining.
The Hornets fought back to tie at 53 and four players fouled out in a row – two from each side. Macomb held a 59-57 lead with 0.7 left in regulation but Michael McDonald was sent to the line for Asher and made both shots to tie back up and send the game into overtime.
Asher was in danger of giving up a 3-pointer to Maud with a 66-63 lead and 8.6 seconds left in the extra minutes, but a takeaway by Chase Eckart earned him two shots from the line to move ahead 67-63 and the Indians held on to advance in playoffs.
Macomb coach Matt Riggs liked the effort his guys put forth, but when it came to the game down the stretch, Asher did what they needed to do.
“At the end of the day, Asher just made more plays," he said. "When they had to have a bucket they went and got a bucket and when they had to have a stop, they went and got a stop. All the credit in the world to them.”
Martin led all scorers with 22 points, McDonald finished with 16 before fouling out in overtime, Eckart had nine and Odell put in seven. Brayden Sanders (8) and Juston Melton (4) both also fouled out.
Coby Mason led the Hornets with 20 points and Horn put in 17 before fouling out. Andrew Boydstun had 10 and Koby Withee put in nine. Caleb Browning fouled out with six points.
Macomb finishes their season with a record of 10-14. They beat Asher 45-43, January 30. The team started with three seniors in a year that Riggs was attempting a turnaround of the program. The seniors set an example for the rest of the team to follow and made it a successful season, he said.
“I'm really proud of our team, I'm proud of our seniors and I'm proud of our group as a whole," he said. "Our program has been down a little bit. You can't tell it by the way that these guys work and practice, but that's because of the work of the seniors we had this year.”
Asher moves to 6-17 for the year with the victory. It was the Indians' first win following five straight losses.
Asher will play No. 1 in Class B Earlsboro (23-1) Saturday at 8 p.m. at Earlsboro for the district title.