Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

December 7, 2012

Keys teams make tourney finals

PARK HILL — The Keys boys grinded out a 54-51 overtime victory over Vinita in the semifinals of the Cougar Invitational Thursday night at Cougar Fieldhouse.

Keys was led by guard Trevor Eubanks who, despite turning the ball over nine times and making just 5-of-14 shot attempts, found a way down the stretch to make the plays necessary to pull out the victory. Eubanks finished with 18 points.

“It’s so nice to have more than one go-to guy when you need a score,” Keys coach Duane Jones said. “Trevor had to force the ball some in overtime because he really didn’t receive much help, but our defense really stepped up when we needed it and he led us to the win.”

The Cougars built an early 16-8 advantage thanks in large part to Payton Ragsdale. The forward scored the first 14 points of the game for the home team and finished with 23 overall. He had poured in 19 by intermission but was forced to miss most of the second half due to foul trouble.

“Payton had several offensive rebounds early, and he got us the lead with an impressive first half,” Jones said. “I was real proud of how our kids responded when he picked up his fourth foul midway through the third quarter.”

Ragsdale had to sit and watch his team pull out the victory from the sidelines after fouling out with 1:41 to play in the fourth quarter. He played only eight minutes of the second half but finished 11 of 13 from the field.

Rasgdale’s presence was a big reason the home team outrebounded the Hornets 23-5 in the first half, and Keys took a 32-24 lead into intermission.

Vinita shaved just one point off the deficit in the third quarter, but the visitors erupted for 19 fourth-quarter points to tie proceedings.

The comeback began with the home team holding a 41-34 advantage with 7:27 to play. An 8-1 run powered by Garret Maxey and Gage Bertram knotted the game at 42-42, and the two squads battled to a 51-51 standstill at the end of regulation.

Vinita did not score in overtime, going 0-for-5 from the field. The game was won on the foul line, as Eubanks made two and Tyler Blankenship made one for the three-point triumph.

Maxey led the Hornets with 18 points, six rebounds, five assists, and five steals. Bertram added 15 and Phillip Willis contributed 10 points, four steals and three boards.

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