On Thursday, the Buckhorn Wildcats made their way to the Championship game of the A. B. Combs Holiday Classic. The Wildcats hooked up with a familiar foe in the Sebastian Middle School Bobcats. The two teams have met twice already this season, with the Wildcats taking both games.
Buckhorn opened the game with a strong defense, and quickly took control of the tempo. The Wildcats were able to post a small lead by the midway point of the period. However, carelessness in their ball handling allowed the Bobcats to get back in the game before the horn (9-7).
Sebastian Middle continued to hold the momentum in the second quarter, and quickly turned the tables on Buckhorn. The Wildcats found themselves on the short end of a 15-12 score going into the break.
Things began to go a little better for the Wildcats in the third period. They were able to hit a few shots and climb back into the driver’s seat. As the third period came to an end, Buckhorn was back on top 25-24.
The back and forth struggle continued in the fourth quarter, and as the game was coming to a close, Sebastian Middle was in the lead. Buckhorn was able to get a shot off late to tie the score, but left some time on the clock. The Bobcats, however, were not able to get a good look at the basket as the horn sound, leaving the outcome of the game to be settled in overtime.
Buckhorn took control early in the overtime, but could not shake Sebastian Middle. The Bobcats eventually took the lead with a pair of free throws, leaving the Wildcats a minute to find a way to pull off the victory.
The Wildcats tightened their defense down the stretch, and picked up a couple of key steals that allowed them to get back in the lead. With a handful of seconds remaining in the game, Ryan Couch hit a free throw to give Buckhorn a one-point lead (42-41).
Sebastian Middle had 10 seconds to get off a final shot, and the length of the floor to cover. Buckhorn’s press created havoc with the Bobcats, forcing them to throw the ball away. The Wildcats were then able to run out the clock, collecting the 42-41 win.
Matt Day 8, Tray Gay 14, Tate Gay 2, Ryan Couch 5, Scotty Blank 3 and Jarrod Rice 9.
R. Trent 6, K. Huff 2, R. Cox 11 and J. Fletcher 22.