Allen’s top-seeded boys squad made things interesting, but the Mustangs survived a determined upset bid to advance to Saturday’s championship game at the Pontotoc Conference Tournament.
Stonewall built a 27-17 halftime lead before Allen (5-1) rallied for a 46-44 victory that earned the Mustangs a showdown with second-seeded Roff in the title game. Roff, the defending tournament champion, got another big game from senior Brendon Barr and edged Vanoss, 62-57, in Friday’s other semifinal.
Tupelo won the third-place girls contest, 51-50, over Vanoss behind a season-high 32 points from senior Shanna Davidson.
Allen 46, Stonewall 44
Allen tied the game with a 10-0 run to start the third quarter and carried a 34-30 lead to the final period. The Mustangs — who finally took the lead for good with less than two minutes remaining — connected on 8-of-10 free throws down the stretch to keep the Longhorns (6-4) at bay.
“Allen’s got a really good club,” Stonewall coach Wes Moreland said. “I was disappointed we couldn’t stop that run they had in the third quarter, but I was proud of the effort we had. It was a tough game.”
Lane Mills scored 15 points and Brady Caldwell added 14 for Allen, which hit 11-of-14 free throws while Stonewall was just 6-for-14 from the line (and just 2-for-8 in the first half).
Dakota McCollum had 12 points, including two of Stonewall’s eight 3-pointers in the game, and Jon Clemmons also scored 12 for the Longhorns. David Hamilton hit three treys and finished with 11 points in the loss, which snapped a four-game Stonewall winning streak.
Allen will host Wanette and Stonewall will visit Stuart Tuesday.
Roff 62, Vanoss 57
Vanoss led 28-25 at intermission, but Barr scored 19 of his 29 points in the second half to lead the Roff comeback.
“In the first half, we didn’t have five guys making plays; in the second half we had different guys getting steals and rebounds and hitting some shots, and that made a big difference,” Roff coach Kale Simon said. “Once we got over the hump and got the lead, we extended it to 10, and I was proud of that. We got a little rattled late in the game when (Vanoss) started pressing us, but I was happy with the effort.”
In addition to his second 29-point scoring effort of the tournament, Barr pulled down 14 rebounds to complete an impressive double-double. Tim Wallen had nine points and dished out nine assists to just miss a double-double of his own, Jeremy Grinstead added eight points, and Shane Wise had eight second0-half points for the Tigers.
Roff (5-4) hit 22-of-47 shots overall, including 16-of-27 from inside the arc, and went 12-for-19 from the free throw line.
Ali Gonzalez and Ethan Low scored 15 points apiece and Coty Embry added 12 to lead Vanoss.
Roff and Vanoss both return to action Tuesday, with the Tigers visiting Stratford and the Wolves hosting Bowlegs.
Tupelo 51, Vanoss 50
Davidson hit 8-of-11 shots from inside the arc and 3-of-5 from long range, and she was also 7-for-8 from the free throw line — including three straight late in the fourth quarter that proved to be the difference.
Fouled on a 3-point attempt, Davidson calmly sank all three charity shots with just 15.5 seconds remaining to put the Lady Tigers up 51-48. Katie Priest closed out a big night of her own with a putback of an offensive rebound on the ensuing Vanoss possession, but there was only a second left. “Shanna is playing awesome right now,” Tupelo coach Bill Godwin said of Davidson, who is averaging about 20 points, eight rebounds, four steals and four assists on the season. “(Vanoss) tried to play a box-and-one, but we’ve seen it so much over the last year that we handled it well.”
Tupelo, which suffered a 10-point home loss to Vanoss on Nov. 30, trailed 12-6 after one quarter but exploded for 23 second-quarter points to take a 29-24 lead at intermission. Davidson scored 13 straight points during one stretch in the period.
The Lady Tigers (8-3) led 38-32 after three quarters, but a string of turnovers to start the fourth helped Vanoss (4-5) re-claim the lead.
“We have to cut down on the turnovers,” said Godwin, whose club turned the ball over 17 times compared to just nine by the Lady Wolves. “We’re playing so many close games because we’re turning the ball over too much. I have young ball-handlers right now, and they’re learning, but it’s a process. We’re getting there.”
Both teams shot the ball extremely well, both from the field and from the free throw line. Tupelo was 17-for-32 from inside the arc and 18-for-23 overall whole hitting 12-for-15 free throws — including 10-of-12 in the fourth quarter. Vanoss (which didn’t attempt a 3-pointer) hit 17-of-32 shots from the field and 16-of-20 from the line.
Davidson’s huge game counter the Vanoss 1-2 punch of Priest and forward Gage Parker. Priest scored 25 points and Parker added 15 in the loss.