By CRAIG HALL
WILBURTON—When Cameron played LeFlore in the LeFlore County Tournament in January, Ryan Carter received a bloodied nose.
When the two teams met in the finals of the Eastern Oklahoma State College blue bracket finals Saturday night, Cameron’s senior dealt out some payback.
Carter hit a long three from deep in the corner late in overtime to give the Yellow Jackets the lead for good and Cameron held on for a 48-43 win over the Savages.
With the score tied at 43 and 17 seconds left, Cameron called time to set up the play for the final shot. But while teams typically work the clock down for a final shot, the pass went to Carter and he quickly fired up a shot from the right corner.
It hit nothing but the bottom of the net, giving Cameron a 46-43 lead over a LeFlore team which is drastically improved from last year.
The Savages had a shot to tie the score, but it missed and Kenny Whitehead rebounded for Cameron. He was fouled and hit both free throws to seal the wild win.
LeFlore played the final part of the third quarter, the fourth quarter and the overtime session without coach Todd Hackler, who was ejected after arguing a call.
The game was tied at 21 at the time. Carter hit all four free throws after the two technicals and also scored a basket on the ensuing possession to give Cameron a 27-21 lead.
But LeFlore rallied and a basket by Caleb Smith with 53 seconds left tied the score at 43. Both teams had chances in the final minute, but could not score.
In overtime, Whitehead gave Cameron the lead on a traditional three-point play with 2:31 left.
Garrett Singleterry answered for LeFlore with a basket and free throw to once again tie the score.
Carter hit a jumper with 1:23 left for a 43-41 lead, only to see Singleterry score with 31 seconds left to knot the score, setting the stage for Carter’s winning basket.
Carter, the tournament MVP, led the Jackets with 20 points. Austin Standridge, also on the all-tournament team, added 10 points before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
Smith paced LeFlore with 17 points while Singleterry finished with 11.