By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
OKLAHOMA CITY—Over an eight minute stretch, equal to a full quarter of play, the Bobcats went cold from the field, and the Calumet Chieftains stole a win away from Tyrone in the first round of the Class B State Tournament, 62-46.
“We didn’t just have the feeling of, we’re happy to be here, we wanted to win,” Bobcats Coach Clay Witt said. “I was really happy with the way we competed for about three quarters and then we just had a stretch where things didn’t go our way-the calls didn’t go our way, the ball didn’t bounce our way. It’s just the way it goes sometimes.”
Over that eight minute stretch Calumet sunk four threes, including an buzzer beating, fall away three from the corner with two Bobcat defenders outstretched arms his face to take a 45-39 lead. Calumet led 55-39 when Jonathan Corrales broke the drought with a layup with 5:50 left to play. But even then, Tyrone continued to struggle at the offensive end and were scoreless for another three minutes until another basket by Corrales made the score 61-43 with 2:32 left to play.
“I felt like we were getting bumped at the shot, but that happens,” Witt said. “We gave them some second shots at times, we didn’t slide our feet as well and they got penetration, and they got shots to fall, and that was the difference.”
Tyrone shot just 26 percent (6 of 23) from the field in the second half, and was 0 of 6 from the line. Meanwhile, Calumet was over 40 percent from 3-point range in both halves.
In the first half, Tyrone controlled the boards, and got points off of putbacks. Tyrone took the lead at 10-8 on a Corrales basket with 1:08 left in the first quarter, and led 12-10 at the end of the first.
Both offenses got going in the second quarter. Willie Slater scored on an inbounds play and Austin Olson scored off an offensive rebound to give the Bobcats their largest lead of the game, 16-10 with 7:11 left in the half. Calumet got hot from the field with four threes in the quarter, and Tyrone pounded the ball inside to Slater. Slater scored nine in the quarter as the two teams battled back and forth with Tyrone coming out ahead by one at the half, 33-32.
“The pace was where we wanted it,” Witt said. “But once you have a few balls not go in the hole then you have to press then and that’s what they like. That forced us to extend our defense and that’s their game. We needed to stay close so we could keep it at our pace, but they hit some big shots and stretch it out.”
Tyrone finished the game 18-45 from the field, 1 of 9 from beyond the arc and 9 of 20 from the line. Calumet was 19-44 from the field, including 10 of 24 from 3-point range, and 14 of 20 from the line.
Jonathan Corrales was 7-7 from the field to finish with a team-high 14 points. Willie Slater was 3-14 from the field and 5-9 from the free throw line for 11 points. Slater also had six rebounds and four assists. Brian Holley was 4-11 from the field and 2-4 from the line for 11 points, and five rebounds. Austin Olson scored 6 and grabbed a team-high 7 rebounds.
Tyrone’s best season in school history ends with their first trip ever to the State Tournament, and a 24-4 record.
“It’s hard to tell the players that when they’re hurting so bad,” Witt said. “There are seven teams going home sad from this tournament, event the runner-up is not going to be happy. I was happy we were here, but we wanted more. It’s an accomplishment to make it here. I think it lights a fire in the younger players who see this. I think it inspires them to want to be here too.”