Waurika’s boys had been waiting since opening night to make amends, but the Eagles gained some revenge when it counted — and just by the skin of their teeth.
Austin Masoner put the Eagles ahead to stay and Mason Johnson added some insurance in the final 10 seconds Friday, as the Eagles nipped Jefferson County rival Ryan, 54-52, in an overtime game at the Class A Area II District 2 Tournament at Sterling.
When the teams had opened the season on Nov. 20, Waurika’s top seven players had performed so poorly that frustrated head coach Joe Masoner pulled his regulars in the third quarter of what became a 47-25 loss.
Two and a half months later, the Eagles rallied in the fourth quarter and then outscored the Cowboys, 9-7, in overtime to rise to 10-14 and set up a meeting with host Sterling in Saturday’s district final.
After Ryan had led 15-9 at the end of the first quarter and 25-23 at halftime, the Cowboys had a 36-31 lead going into the fourth quarter. That’s where things changed.
Getting seven points from Leo Roberts and six from Garrett Bachand, Waurika closed the gap and had a 45-42 lead, before Ryan’s G.W. Seay hit a 3-pointer with 3.7 seconds left to send the game into the extra session.
In overtime, Austin Masoner scored six of his game-high 21 points, including a drive with 10 seconds left that gave WHS a 53-51 lead. Ryan’s Lucas Ninman had a chance to tie the game with six seconds remaining, but missed the first of two free throw attempts, leaving the Pokes behind, 53-52.
One second later, Johnson sealed the deal by making the front end of a one-and-one.
The Eagles also got 15 points from Roberts and eight from Bachand. Although limited to four points, senior standing out Mason Wilkerson had a game-high 17 rebounds.
Seay led RHS with 19 points, while Ninman had a double-double, with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Ryan 45, Waurika 36
In a game featured shooting problems for one team and ball-handling problems for the other, the Cowgirls suddenly found the range in the fourth quarter, overcoming a five-point deficit and ending the Lady Eagles’ season at 10-13.
Ryan was shooting just 11.1 percent from the field and trailed 24-19 going into the fourth period, before catching fire from the field. In the final stanza, Kara Hawkins dropped in 13 of her game-high 17 points, including three 3-pointers. Rashonda Lewis added six tallies and the Cowgirls went 7-for-11 from the floor.
Waurika had leads of 7-5 and 19-17 at the end of the first two quarters. Despite repeated ball-handling errors, the Lady Eagles opened a five-point lead in the third quarter and continued in front until the 2:13 mark of the fourth quarter, when Hawkins bagged a trey to give RHS a 35-34 edge.
A follow-up by Karrington Morris pushed Waurika back in front 36-35, but a stick-back by Hawkins spurred the Cowgirls on a 8-1 run in the final two minutes.
Lewis finished with 16 points for the Cowgirls, who met No. 5 Sterling in Saturday’s championship game.
Plagued by 33 turnovers, the Lady Eagles got eight points and a game-leading 10 rebounds from Daley Gay. Courtland Henderson added eight points and eight rebounds.