The Catoosa Indians overcome a 35-20 halftime deficit to stun the Class 6A Claremore Zebras, 66-65 in overtime of the consolation semifinals Friday afternoon in the 48th Annual Port City Classic.
A key component to Catoosa’s battle-cry was senior post Trevor Delano, who was totally unstoppable after only scoring five points in the first half.
Delano tallied a game-high 29 points — 24 in the second half and overtime — and forced the overtime period with two clutch free throws to tie the game at 60 with 0:00.9 remaining.
Early on, Claremore looked prime for getting back in the win column, and opened with a 23-13 lead at the end of th first quarter.
Jeff Oxford, T.J. Wood and Reid Joyner combined for 19 of Claremore’s first 23 points to set the tone.
Catoosa, though, couldn’t find a stop in the first half as Claremore continued to roll to a 35-20 halftime lead with Oxford and Wood scoring nine points each and Joyner adding eight.
The ‘wake-up’ call for Catoosa came moments into the third quarter as Delano took over.
A three-pointer from Delano and then a layup and free throw conversion allowed Catoosa to trim Claremore’s lead to 37-30 with 2:31 remaining in the third quarter.
Delano scored 12 of Catoosa’s 20 points in the third quarter.
After Kaleb Presley’s reverse layup in the paint, Delano answered with a transition short-range jumper to pull Catoosa within five at 39-34.
Tristan Morgan followed up another Claremore turnover with a layup and Delano knocked down a pair of free throws with 1:07 remaining in the third quarter to slice Claremore’s lead to 39-38.
The lead changed hands several times in the fourth quarter until Matt Dillon’s driving layup and Delano’s reverse putback in the paint put Catoosa ahead 49-46 with 5:20 remaining in regulation.
Oxford stopped the Catoosa scoring spree with a penetrating coast-to-coast layup at the 3:53 mark to narrow the deficit to 50-48.
Seconds later, Hunter Garroutte’s defensive tenacity allowed Joyner to tie the game at 50-50 on a transition basket in the paint.
After Joyner’s basket off the glass from Truman Burrage that put Claremore up 55-51 with 1:10 remaining, Morgan drained a jumper and Delano converted a 3-pointer to bring the deficit to 57-56 with 0:30 left in regulation.
Catoosa’s ability to hit free throws down the stretch paid off with Delano icing a pair at the end of regulation to force overtime.
Coming out in the extra period, Wood gave Claremore a 63-62 lead with 2:43 remaining on a 3-pointer.
Delano answered with a spin-move in the paint to put Catoosa up 64-63.
Moments later, Joyner’s offensive putback with 0:37 left once again put Claremore up 65-64.
But, Delano’s spin-move penetrating jumper sealed the win for Catoosa.