COLLINSVILLE - The Claremore Zebras and the Collinsville Cardinals each posted a thrilling victory on the basketball court Friday night.
The Class 5A No. 18 Lady Zebras rode a sensational effort from Hailey Grant in a 40-34 win. The No. 9 Claremore boys fell to No. 13 Collinsville 59-54 in a key game for potential playoff positioning in Class 5A.
Claremore hosts Tahlequah on Tuesday and then will travel to separate tournaments starting Thursday.
The Lady Zebras (6-7) will be in the Port City Classic in Catoosa while the Zebras (8-5) will be in the NEO Tournament in Miami.
CLAREMORE 40, COLLINSVILLE 34 (girls)
Grant finished with a career-high 28 points and a game-high ten rebounds. Her 3-pointer at the 5:00 mark of the fourth quarter tied the game at 27-27 and started a decisive 12-0 run.
Grant then made 1-of-2 free throws 47 seconds later to give the Lady Zebras the lead for good. It was their first lead since 5-2 early in the first period.
Sidney Stout converted a pair of free throws with 1:04 remaining to cap the 12-0 spurt. The Lady Cardinals (5-8) then got the next five points.
Abbey Cox, however, countered for Claremore. First, she got a break away bucket with 30 seconds left and then added a pair of free throws with 20 seconds to play.
Macy Kindle got the first bucket of the game for the Lady Zebras. Grant then scored their next 26 points before Cox converted two free throws to make it 30-27 with 3:09 remaining.
"I thought the girls showed a lot of fight coming back," said Claremore girls head coach Whitney Jones. "They just kept chipping away at the lead while coming up with stops on multiple defensive possessions and they stepped up to the line with confidence knocking down crucial free throws in the second half."
COLLINSVILLE 59, CLAREMORE 54 (boys)
Nate Potts and P'bo Wood finished with 16 and 15 points, respectively for the Zebras. Ethan Cole had a game-high 21 points while Peyton Dees added 16 for the Cardinals (8-5).
Claremore was ahead most of the game, but had its last lead at 50-49 with three minutes to play after a 3-pointer from Wood.
Dees then scored the next four points. Collinsville had a bucket sandwiched in between two free throws apiece from Potts and Wood with 1:33 and 1:11 left, respectively.
The Cardinals missed two free throws with 48 seconds remaining, but got a defensive stop. Cole then converted a pair at the foul line with 21 seconds left.
The Zebras missed a good look at a 3-pointer that would have tied it with 12 seconds to play. Eventually Cole secured the ball and was fouled with five seconds remaining. He made both shots for the final margin.
Claremore led 14-6 after the first quarter and 27-20 at the half. Dees made a 3-pointer at the 4:00 mark of the third period to give Collinsville its first lead of the game at 33-32.
The Zebras battled back though and eventually held a slim 38-36 edge after the third quarter. There were several ties and lead changes in the final frame, but in the end the Cardinals prevailed.
Both teams were solid at the free throw line. Claremore finished 17-for-21 while Collinsville was 26-for-33.