Wellston outlasts Asher in overtime

Keven Scrutchins
Contributing Writer
Asher's Mike McDonald hits a three during Thursday night's semifinals of the Pottawatomie County Invitational Tournament.

So, so close. The Asher Indians were looking to advance into the Pottawatomie County Invitational Tournament Thursday night as they faced off against the Wellston Tigers. The Tigers outlasted Asher in overtime, 63-57, on the campus of North Rock Creek High School.

To say the game was close would be an understatement. The two teams battled to six ties and nine lead changes throughout the course of the contest.

No tie came at a bigger time than at the end of regulation. Asher, trailing 51-49, had the final possession of the game. Patch Hamilton drove the lane but his runner rimmed out, but Justin Melton secured the offensive board and made the put-back as time expired, sending the game into overtime.

Wellston opened the overtime with a Hunter Green trey and never looked back. They outscored Asher 12-6 in extra time to earn a spot in Saturday’s final game.

The Tigers took an early 10-8 after the first quarter. The second quarter turned into free-throw practice for the Indians. Asher went to the free-throw line 15 times in the quarter and hit eight of them, and had several Wellston players in some foul trouble heading into the second half. The Indians led 23-22 at intermission.

The Tigers avoided worse foul trouble in the third quarter and took a 34-29 lead into the final quarter.

In the fourth, Hamilton got his offensive game going, scoring 15

of his 20 points. On the other side of the court, Wellston’s McCoy Caulson also got it going. The guard was held scoreless in the first half, but scored 15 of his game-high 23 points in the fourth, keeping the game tight and setting up the overtime win.

Caulson scored six more point in overtime to secure the win.

Caulson was joined by Hunter Green in double figures with 16.

Mike McDonald matched Hamilton’s 20 points and kept Asher around in the first quarter with eight and hit two three-pointers.

Asher will play in the third-place game, Saturday at 4:30 pm. They will face the loser of the Davenport-Allen matchup.