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Crossings Christian escapes Eagles

Del City’s Desean McCarroll, Mishaun Graham and Kentrell Thurston take the floor at the state tournament. Photo by Jeff Harrison

Del City boys can’t get last second shots to drop in 42-39 OT loss

By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon

NORMAN – The Del City boys have been used to making deep runs in the state tournament.

But not this year.

The defending Class 5A state champions made a rare early exit following a 42-39 overtime loss to Crossings Christian in the first round on Thursday.

Del City (19-10) had a couple of chances to tie it in overtime but missed both shots. Michael Graham missed a shot from the corner with six seconds left. The Eagles got the rebound and passed to Desean McCarroll whose potential tying shot bounced off the rim.

The Eagles advanced to the state tournament for the eighth consecutive year, despite losing several starters including Brandon Garrison, Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year.

“A lot of people didn’t even have us making the state tournament but we’re back,” said coach Lenny Hatchett. “We’re not where we wanted to be but we’re not going anywhere.”

Crossings Christian (20-7) used their size advantage to control the paint. They outscored Del City 22-12 in the paint and had 10 offensive rebounds and nine second chance points.

Phoenix Woodson had a double double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Cam Parker had nine points and 10 rebounds for the Knights.

The Knights also shined in transition. They outscored the Eagles 10-4 in fastbreak points.

Michael Graham led the Eagles with 17 points, despite missing time with foul trouble.

Cal Furnish led Crossings with 16 points and had three steals and three assists.

Del City fell behind 9-2 early in the first. The Graham brothers made up the deficit with seven straight points, tying the score at 9 all.

The Eagles got threes from Michael Graham and Ahmadre Sanders in the second for a 17-16 halftime lead.

Crossings pulled ahead in the third. Ridley Coleman made a 3-pointer on a second-chance play and Furnish hit a pair of free throws, giving the Knights a 29-25 lead after three.

Del City briefly took the lead in the fourth on a basket by Mishaun Graham. Michael Graham later tied the game with a layup at the 1:23 mark.

With seconds ticking away, Michael Graham tried a three from the corner but missed. Several on the Del City bench argued there was contact on the play, but the game was sent to overtime.

Crossings led the entire way in overtime. McCarroll cut the deficit to 40-39 with 1:02 to play. Furnish later hit a pair of free throws for a 42-39 lead.

The Eagles missed a pair of 3-point tries in the final seconds.

“I thought we had a gameplan that was really good and played the best defense that we have all year,” said Hatchett. “It’s hard to tell kids that when they do what they’re supposed to do and when they execute, and some calls don’t go their way. I thought the game should’ve ended in regulation.”

Crossings handed Del City its only two losses of the postseason. They beat the Eagles 54-44 in the regional final on Feb. 23.

The Knights lost to Booker T. Washington in the state semifinals on Friday.

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