DURANT — With a tourney titleon the line, Westmoore needed to be at its best. However, after lapses on the defensive end and at the free throw line the Jaguars fell Norman in overtime 60-58 in the finals of the the Durant Lions Classic championship Saturday.
“We played pretty good this weekend in Durant,” Westmoore coach Scott Hodges said. “We’ve really got to be more consistent on the defensive end. We had way too many breakdowns defensively and had to dig ourselves out of a hole way too much. Overall though I was pleased with our effort and I thought we really made improvement this weekend.”
Westmoore had a chance to keep it out of the extra period. But they missed the potential game-winner at the buzzer to send the contest into OT.
Norman trailed 54-52 with a little over three minutes left in overtime when senior Jay Finley began to take over.
It started innocuously when he hit one of two free throws, and things still looked bleak for NHS when Westmoore took a 57-53 lead with a minute left. On the other end, Finley answered with a midrange jumper. Then, after the Jags Dillion Thompson hit one of two free throws, Finley took his man off the dribble and calmly nailed a three-pointer to tie it with 26 seconds left. With both teams out of timeouts, Westmoore ran into a Tiger trap near midcourt and turned the ball over for the 13th time.
That set up Finley’s dramatic game winner, a running 15-footer along the baseline, that swished cleanly through the net as the clock ran out.
“I knew they couldn’t guard me off the dribble,” Finley said. “I was able to pull up and knock it down.”
Both teams made critical mistakes down the stretch. The Jaguars missed three of their last seven free throws and turned the ball over at the end of regulation and the overtime period, while the Tigers missed three short shots and turned it over once themselves.