Warriors advance to district tourney finals, defeat Mt. Pine in overtime

(4) Dalton Taylor for Ouachita orchestrates the Warriors offense during senior high boys basketball action this season at Ouachita High School Gymnasium. The Warriors defeated Mt. Pine in the boys semifinals at the 1A-7 District Tournament on Thursday, February 14, 2019 in Kirby. Photo by Gerren Smith
Gerren Smith
Staff Writer

The Ouachita Warriors have advanced to the boys 1A-7 District Tournament finals after defeating the Mt. Pine Red Devils 66-63 in an overtime thriller in the semifinals on Thursday, February 14, 2019 hosted at Kirby High School.

The Warriors will take on host district tournament team the Kirby Trojans in the boys championship tonight Saturday, February 16, 2019. Tipoff at 6:30 p.m. in Kirby.

The Warriors and the Red Devils showcased a competitive bout in their semifinals match-up, but Ouachita seized through key moments to prevail down the stretch to secure victory.

Ouachita maintained a one-point lead over the Red Devils 10-9 to end first quarter action. In the second, the Warriors outscored Mt. Pine 17-14. At the break, the Warriors led the Red Devils, 27-23 for the four-point advantage going into the locker room.

In the third quarter, the Warriors posted their biggest scoring period of the night to pour 21 points on the board to outscore Mt. Pine, who accounted 16 points scored in the third. After three quarters of action, the Warriors had their biggest lead margin over Mt. Pine, 48-39.

In the fourth, the Red Devils showcased the spark and outscored the Warriors 22-13. With much needed momentum from Mt. Pine, both teams would be knotted at 61-61 at the end of regulation for overtime action.

In the overtime, the Warriors stepped up defensively and held the Red Devils to only a couple of points scored as Ouachita outscored Mt. Pine, 5-2 in the overtime period. As a result, the Warriors went on to victory over the Red Devils for second time this season.

For the game, Warriors' John Fowler showcased a monster performance and led scoring for an impressive 33 points, Noah Dahlke dropped 17 points and Truston Furr added 10 points for a triple-threat of double-figures. Will Hixon and Dalton Taylor each contributed four key points apiece in the Warriors victory.

Ouachita Warriors Head Coach Clayton Ray was pleased by the team's effort and overall play to capture the victory in another hard fought battle against a good Mt. Pine Red Devils squad. Coach Ray felt the Warriors defense stood out big in the second half and made the difference to be the victors.

"Mt. Pine had the last possession in regulation we played good defense and rebounded the missed
shot. We were up three at closing of overtime and got another defensive stop where they forced a contested shot up at buzzer that missed," Ray said.

The Warriors improve to 25-10 overall.