Rattan advances to semi's, falls in OT

Photo by LaDonna Gibson-Coberley
Wes Haddox
Sports Correspondent

OSSAA High School Class A State Basketball Tournament, Rattan Rams versus Seiling Wildcats. The two squads met at Edmond Deer Creek High School in Edmond. Rattan entered the game ranked #4 in the state with a 25-4 record while #7 Seiling had yet to face defeat this season and held an impressive 26-0 record, the only team in the state with an unblemished record.

This game started with Rattan taking the early lead. But concern hit the Rams' fans early when their leading scorer, Toche Taylor, picked up two quick fouls in the first minute of the game. Rattan held a 14-12 lead after the first quarter and 28-26 at the half.

Rattan scored 20 points in the third while holding Seiling to only 13. As the fourth quarter started, the Rams had a 9 point lead, 48-39. Rattan hit their free throws and eliminated turnovers as they increased the lead back up to to eight, 61-53, as time expired.

Rattan's next opponent was the #1 ranked Frontier Mustangs. Frontier claimed the early lead but Rattan came back to tie it at 8-8. The Mustangs went on an 8-0 run to double up the Rams at 16-8. Rattan went on a 22-8 run to close out the first half and take a 30-24 lead over the top ranked Mustangs.

The second half was a battle. Back and forth they went as Rattan withstood every effort by Frontier in the third. As the fourth quarter started, Rattan led 43-38. With six minutes left, they had increased their lead to 47-40. With 3:30 on the clock, Frontier had pulled to within three, 49-46. With 2:29 remaining, the score was tied at 49-49. Rattan reclaimed the lead at 53-51 until Frontier sank a 3-point shot to take their first lead since early in the second quarter at 54-53. Taylor hit a huge bucket to give the lead back to Rattan with 21 ticks left on the clock. Frontier drove the length of the floor and scored what was thought to be the game winning shot as time expired.

Frontier fans, players, and coach thought their team had just won. But what they didn't realize was that when Taylor made his shot with 21 seconds left, it was a actually a 3-point shot, NOT a 2-point shot like the clock initially showed. So the last second bucket by the Mustangs actually tied the game at 56-56, sending it into overtime.

In the overtime period, Frontier grabbed a four point lead, 60-56. Rattan stormed back to take their own lead at 61-60. With 0:54 showing on the clock, the score read 63-61, in favor of the Mustangs. The Rams tied the game again at 63-63 with 20 seconds remaining. After a timeout by Frontier, the team had the ball out of bounds on their end of the floor on the sideline. They threw the ball inbounds and after a crossover dribble at the free throw line, the Mustangs player let the ball fly from the left corner of the line. As the ball was in flight, the buzzer sounded as the ball swished through the net. Game over.

Scoring stats for the final game were: Toche Taylor-28, Keegan Bohanon-25, Ryan Makerney-6, Rece Bankston-2, and Ira Taylor-2. Toche Taylor was also selected to the all-tournament team averaging 28.0 points/game, the most of any player in the tournament.