Earlsboro boys claim wild 49-46 decision over HammonQ

Brian Johnson
Shawnee News-Star, USA TODAY NETWORK
Earlsboro's Danney Billingsley (11) launches a shot from the corner against Hammon Saturday in Class B sub-regional play.

EARLSBORO – A critical 9-1 run late in the fourth quarter broke a 39-all deadlock as the 10th-ranked Earlsboro Wildcats held for a wild and crazy 49-46 decision over the Hammon Warriors Saturday in Class B sub-regional basketball play.

Earlsboro, 16-4, advanced to play in the regional winners' bracket on Monday at Verden.

The Wildcats took the lead for good with 3:47 to go when Dante Hall, drove along the baseline, put the ball off the glass and converted the shot while drawing the foul. He then nailed the ensuing free shot to make it 42-39.

Hall, who was scoreless in the first half and finished with eight points, later got a steal, after a Hammon player slipped with the ball, and got the layup to push the Earlsboro lead to 44-39 with 1:58 remaining. Then the Wildcats' Brady Wilson drained both ends of a one-and-one opportunity to increase the Earlsboro advantage to 46-39 with 1:13 left.

Wilson knocked down two more free throws with 15 seconds left to give the Wildcats a 48-40 lead.

But things got wild in the last 10 seconds.

Hammon's Alex Little nailed an off-balance 3-point jumper with nine seconds remaining. Hall was then intentionally fouled with seven seconds to go. He hit the first charity toss to make it 49-43, but missed the second. The Warriors brought the ball down and again, Little banked in a 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds left.

An offensive foul on Earlsboro gave the ball back to Hammon as no time was run off the clock. The Warriors' Josh Land attempted a desperation one-hand push shot from the right corner which rimmed out as the buzzer sounded.

“We should have done better at the end with our execution,” said Earlsboro head coach Devin Terry. “We're finding ways to win games. It's a sign of maturity and that our kids are growing up. I hope we can continue on that path.

Wilson and Danney Billingsley each tallied 15 points to pace the Wildcats. Wilson was 4 of 10 from the floor with one 3-point basket and was 7 of 8 from the foul line to go with five rebounds. Billingsley was also 4 of 10 with two treys, five boards and a pair of steals.

“Brady stepped up and played well. He and Danney played well in the first half when we had some players in foul trouble,” Terry said.

Hall, who was saddled with early foul trouble, scored six of his eight points in the fourth quarter. He also grabbed eight rebounds and registered three steals.

“Hall stepped up like a senior leader should. He understood that this was his final home game and stepped up,” said Terry.

Ryan Long netted just three points, off a field goal and free throw, for Earlsboro, but yanked down a game-leading 12 rebounds and recorded two steals.

“He was the X-Factor,” Terry said. “He had a court burn on his head while diving for a loose ball.”

Justin McGehee and Eryn Johnson each drained a 3-pointer for the Wildcats and Cody Skaggs had a bucket off the bench.

Little led Hammon with a game-high 22 points as he drilled six treys in the game. Land followed with nine points and Trey Torrance chipped in eight.

Asher 44, Corn Bible 40 (Boys' Consolation)

Mike McDonald poured in 20 points while nailing four 3-point shots as the Indians withstood a sluggish second half and held on for the win to stay alive in sub-regional action.

McDonald scored eight of the team's 10 fourth-quarter points with a trey, 3 of 4 free shots and a 2-point basket in that final period.

Cameron Grissom tacked on 13 points, including three treys, for the winners.

Brendan Miller was Corn Bible's top scorer as he finished with 18 points and sank two of his team's three 3-point buckets.

Asher raced out to an 11-4 lead through one quarter and went on a 15-9 run in the second in doubling up Corn Bible at halftime, 26-13. The Indians led only 34-27 through three periods as they held on for the four-point win.