OWASSO — Muskogee basketball may be headed in the right direction, but Tuesday night at Owasso High School both the Roughers and Lady Roughers experienced growing pains that will only benefit them in the long run.
Muskogee’s Xavier Brown scored 22 points including 17 in the second half, but it wasn’t enough as Owasso defeated the Roughers, 53-51.
“We did a lot of great things that put us in a position to win,” said Muskogee coach Lynwood Wade. “When it’s tight in these games you experience growing pains and we have to find a way to close out these games. We didn’t give up and played hard. That’s a foundation you have to have.”
After a sluggish first half and a slow start to the third period, it appeared things would be over with early. Aaron Potter, who had 16 points, hit a bucket to give the Rams a 32-18 lead.
“We just talked about getting one stop at a time,” Wade said. “Then execute on offense. We missed some shots in the first half that we normally don’t miss. But we were to make a run.”
Juraun Campbell ended the drought with a pair of baskets, then Brown drained the first of five second half 3-pointers to ignite a 10-2 run as Muskogee cut the lead to 36-33 with 2:28 remaining in the third.
After five straight turnovers, Brown hit another 3-pointer with 16 seconds left and James Brown converted a steal into a layup at the buzzer at the Roughers tied the game at 38-38.
A Xavier Brown 3 with 6:39 left gave Muskogee its only lead at 41-40. But the Roughers were never able to extend the lead despite getting stops on the defensive end. Kyler Mann, who had 16 points and 15 rebounds for Owasso, gave the Rams a 50-48 lead with 42 seconds left but missed the second of two free throws. But Potter got the offensive rebound and converted two free throws into a 52-48 lead.
Muskogee could not convert on two 3-point attempts. The Roughers only points in the final minute came on a James Brown 3 at the buzzer.
“We’re like baking a cake,” Wade said. “We have all the ingredients, but the cake is not done yet. It won’t be done until we are where we need to be.”
Girls: Owasso 51, Muskogee 49 (OT)
The Lady Rams used a pair of unexpected 3-pointers to defeat the Lady Roughers, 51-49, in overtime.
Muskogee trailed by as many as nine points in the second half, but an 8-0 run to end the third and start the fourth quickly gave the Lady Roughers a 34-31 lead.
The game was a back and fourth affair the remainder of the final period. A short jumper by Dezaray Burton and a layup by D’Asia Brown gave Muskogee a 38-35 lead with 3:32 left.
But Mallory Hendrix kept Owasso in the game. Hendrix, who led the Lady Rams with 28 points, scored a pair of baskets to cut the lead to 40-39 with 1:24 remaining.
Muskogee struggled at the free throw line hitting just two of six in the final two minutes but still managed to lead 42-39 after a free throw by Brown with 15 seconds left.
The Lady Roughers defense appeared to have Owasso in a bind as the seconds ticked off. But Kelsey Korb threw up an off-balance shot from outside the arc that found the bottom of the net sending the game into overtime.
The extra period was much the same as Hendrix scored Owasso’s first six points. Muskogee took its last lead when Akira Eubanks hit a three to make it 49-48. Owasso pushed the ball down court as time was running out and Chloe Stocksen found herself wide open for a shot she had turned down several times. This time Stocksen put up the shot and sank it with 1.3 seconds left.
“We struggled in the first half getting in the flow offensively and defensively,” said Muskogee coach Jeremy Ford. “Once we picked it up defensively, it started to affect our offense. It led to transition and some 3s.”