Byng — In a game where it seemed like every single fourth-quarter possession mattered, the Byng Pirates would like to have do-overs on their final two.
The Pirates saw two inbounds passes in the closing seconds go awry, allowing the Purcell Dragons to escape the Bill Koller Fieldhouse with an exasperating 44-43 win Saturday night in the boys championship game of the 2014 Byng Pirate Invitational.
The Pirates settled for second, falling to 7-3 on the year, while Purcell (5-3) left town as the champions of the first regular-season tournament held at Byng since the Alan Simpson era.
“It’s pretty disappointing, wanting to win this first tournament for our kids, just for the memories of it. It’s a disappointing outcome ... I’m not disappointed with the way my kids played. I thought we played hard,” said Byng head coach Trent Miller.
In the girls championship game, host Byng couldn’t overcome early foul trouble and untimely turnovers in a surprising 49-32 loss to Madill. The Lady Pirates had defeated the Lady Wildcats 56-51 earlier this season in Madill.
Purcell 44, Byng 43
The Pirates had the ball with a chance to win the game three times in the closing seconds.
Miller called time out with 14.2 ticks left, but Byng didn’t get off a shot before Miller burned another timeout with 3.9 seconds remaining. On the ensuing inbounds play, Purcell’s Barrett Huey stole the pass, and it looked like that would be the dagger that ended the game for Byng.
However, when Purcell tried to make a long pass on its inbounds throw with 1.5 showing, the ball hit the fieldhouse ceiling, resulting in an automatic turnover. That gave Byng one final chance.
This time, the inbounds pass was a little too high for Reid Wall — who appeared to be in a good position for a game-winning shot in the lane — to handle. By the time he tracked it down, time had expired.