By LENZY KREHBIEL-BURTON
KIEFER — Parker Taylor’s jump shot at the buzzer was too little, too late for the Hulbert Riders Friday night.
In a physical, back-and-forth regional consolation game at the Kiefer Event Center, the Tonkawa Buccaneers held Hulbert scoreless for more than four minutes in the fourth quarter to seal a 55-51 victory.
“They hit some big shots early,” Coach Rick Ott said. “We made some runs and got ahead of them. They made the last run and we just couldn’t get past them. We can’t take any blame other than we just couldn’t finish.”
Along with seven ties and six lead changes, neither team led by more than nine points all night long.
Despite only making one field goal the entire fourth quarter, Tonkawa connected on 10 of 12 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory. None of Hulbert’s 11 free throw attempts on the night came after the 2:55 mark of the third quarter, even with two Riders getting knocked to the court while attempting three-point shots in the game’s closing minutes.
Sophomore Mason Fielden led all scorers with 21 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter.
“Taylor was a big hand inside and so was Mason Fielden,” Ott said. “Those two guys are sophomores and they are going to be back next year. That’s a pretty solid nucleus for a ball club.”
Taylor chipped in 14 points, including seven straight in the third quarter to keep the Riders within a possession of Tonkawa.
With the loss, Hulbert ends its season with a 17-10 record.
Sophomore Chantay Sigwing led the Buccaneers with 15 points, including nine from his first three three-point attempts early in the game.
Tonkawa (16-9) will play Oklahoma Union at 3 p.m. Saturday for the regional consolation title.
Tonkawa 55, Hulbert 51
Tonkawa 14 8 21 12 55
Hulbert 9 13 15 14 51
Tonkawa: Sigwing 15, Green 12, Fehring 8, DeLoge 5, Ben Hook 4, Alexander 3
Hulbert: Fielden 21, Taylor 14, Wynn 6, Gibson 3, West 3