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Crossings Christian boys allow four fourth-quarter points in claiming regional title

Knights win their second regional championship in school history

By Josh Jennings 

OKLAHOMA CITY - Crossings Christian and Tuttle played each other tough in the first half of the 4A boys regional championship, but the Knights' defense made the difference in the fourth quarter.

CCS held Tuttle scoreless the majority of the fourth quarter and only allowed four points in winning the game, 53-42.

“I am so proud of our guys and how they responded when we were down at halftime, but man, give it up to Tuttle coach Bryan Merritt and his team,” CCS coach Shawn Schenk said. “They forced us to play well and we had to in order to win (Saturday).

"They are a great team who are really well-coached and have really good players who play well together.”

CCS advances to the area championship game and will play Stilwell at 7:30 p.m. Friday evening.

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With the loss, Tuttle still advances to the area tournament and will play Vinita at 3 p.m. Thursday.

Madill also won the regional consolation, as it defeated Broken Bow. The WIldcats will play at 7:30 p.m. Thursday against Catoosa.

All area games will be played at Henryetta.

4A Boys Regional Championship Game

Crossings Christian 53, Tuttle 42

CCS got off to a hot start with plays like freshman Phoenix Woodson scoring a contested layup. The defense was working, too, and the Knights were in front 8-1 more than two minutes into the game.

Woodson, a 6-foot-7 freshman, scored 10 points in the first quarter.

“Even though I scored like I did early on, this was a team effort,” Woodson said. “We made great passes and our defense was working.”

Tuttle responded, going on a 14-6 run with three jump shots made by Garrett Redwine. He scored seven points in the first quarter, resulting in a 15-all tie going into the second quarter.

Redwine scored seven points in the first quarter.

Noah Clark gave Tuttle the lead in the second quarter when he drained a 3-pointer.

Tuttle got Cam Parker in foul trouble early, as he had three midway through the second quarter.

CCS struggled to block out and each team continued to exchange possessions. With 30 seconds to play in the second quarter, CCS held the ball, but turned it over with eight seconds to play, and Tuttle was ahead, 29-27, at halftime.

Evan Crotts from CCS drained a 3-pointer early in the third quarter. On the next possession, he stole the inbounds pass, was fouled and scored three the old fashioned way.

Clark from Tuttle fired right back with five points of his own. With two minutes to play in the third quarter, the game was tied at 36.

Schenk said those buckets from Crotts were big time.

“For us to win without Cam Parker playing a lot of minutes was just huge,” Schenk said. “Our bench played well, too, and Evan hit some big shots, which was big."

Gabe Avelar from Tuttle intercepted a pass and scored a fast-break layup. However, CCS closed on a 6-0 run and Cal Furnish drained a 3-pointer; eventually, the Knights took a 42-38 lead going into the fourth quarter.

CCS played outstanding defense, by taking charges and blocking out. However, offense for both teams was tough to come by.

Furnish made two free throws in the fourth quarter with six minutes to play. Woodson also scored a layup with 2:30 left to play, giving CCS a 46-38 lead.

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The Knights worked lots of clock when it got stops and were patient. Coleman Ridley scored a layup with 1:10 left, making the score 48-38.

Tuttle finally scored when Richie Overcash buried a 3-pointer. He also hit four 3-pointers throughout the course of the game and scored 12 points.

But on this night, it was Crossings Christian with the win, and the regional championship. 

“I love how we play as a team and I thought the biggest difference in the game was Coleman and Nate Rouse coming on,” Schenk said. “They played great defense and we had seven straight stops in the fourth quarter."

4A Boys Regional Consolation Championship

Madill 55, Broken Bow 40

Broken Bow's Kieler Young got into foul trouble early, committing two fouls midway through the first quarter.

The game went back and forth, but Madill had a slight 10-8 advantage when River Shaw made a pair of free throws. He made six free throws in the first quarter.

Madill opened the second quarter on an 8-0 run.

Broken Bow finally got a bucket when Tyrin Tinajero knocked down a jump shot. He scored all five points in the second quarter for the Savages and scored 11 points in the first half.

Madill was ahead, 20-13, at halftime, and Young was held scoreless in the first half.

However, RJ Morris got hot in the third quarter, scoring 10 points for Madill. His scoring helped the Wildcats build a 33-20 lead going into the fourth quarter.

“I work in the gym for moments like this,” Morris said. “I was hot and we kept running the same play. We worked hard as a team and am happy our season is still alive.”

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Morris was not done, as he made big free throws down the stretch. He made six of them at the end of the game.

Young put the Savages on his back, making three 3-pointers and scored 12 points in the fourth quarter.

But Madill kept making plays and was ahead 44-36 with 1:20 left and forced Broken Bow to foul. Morris, Steven Sisco and Shaw made free throws.

Ethan Wilkerson threw down a two-handed jam at the buzzer to make the final score 55-40. Wilkerson scored 11 points in the fourth quarter as well.

“Broken Bow is a well-coached team who plays hard, but our kids made some big time shots,” Madill coach Brett Weiberg said. “We did a great job taking care of the basketball and the main focus was just to win. I am so proud of our guys for this game.”

Morris scored 17 points and Wilkerson scored 19 points. For Broken Bow, Tinajoro scored 19 points and Young scored 17 points.