HUGO - Zac Cater and Skye Lowe have been among the most dangerous two players for the Durant Lions this season.
On Friday, they played a supporting role while several of their teammates took the spotlight - and the Lions nearly took down one of the top 10 Class 3A teams in the state.
Hugo escaped with a 48-45 home win over the Lions which came down to the proverbial wire. It was nip-and-tuck through the entire game, with the largest lead for either team being six points.
Tyler Stovall scored 17 points, mostly on threes. Taylor Cox was right behind him with 13 points. Cater had six points and seven rebounds and Will Engle added five points.
James Donelan earned a defensive double-double with 15 rebounds and 10 blocked shots, as well as four points on 4-for-5 free throw shooting. Skye Lowe had an off night with a pile of missed shots in the fourth on his way to a rare scoreless outing.
Jordan Stafford led the Buffaloes (7-4) with 16 points and Nigel Smith added 10.
Durant took an early 15-12 lead after the first quarter as Stovall hit three from behind the arc. Donelan’s seven rebounds helped keep the Buffs from second chance shot opportunities.
Cox scored all seven Durant points in a second quarter split with the Buffaloes. The game was tied 22-19 at the break as Donelan kept the Hugo offense on its heels with five blocked shots in the quarter.
Hugo won the third quarter 9-8 but Durant held a 30-28 lead going into the fourth. The Lions lead was up to five thanks to Lowe finding Cater, one of his two assists in the quarter.
Engle’s three and a pair of James Donelan free throws broke a 30-all tie, but the Buffs rattled off five straight on their way to a 12-2 turnaround which flipped the game in their favor at 42-37.
Stovall’s three cut the Hugo lead to two and capped a frantic bout of Lions passing at the 3:15 mark. Durant put the Buffs on the line often and they shot 1-for-6.
But one of the Buffs’ shots fell in while Durant’s went wild, giving Hugo a 45-40 lead in the final minute. Stovall got an open look to settle into the net, making the score 45-42 in favor of Hugo.
Durant intentionally fouled Hugo’s Trey Johnson, who nailed both freebies to push the lead back to five. Taylor Cox hit a three with 17 seconds showing and suddenly it was 47-45 Buffs.
Nigel Smith was fouled and hit one of two, making it 48-45 Hugo. Cox was fouled on a baseline shot, giving him three free throws with the clock stopped at 5 seconds.
He missed the first two and intentionally missed the third. Cater grabbed the rebound and kicked out to Landry Wright who got a shot off before the buzzer - but it fell short giving Hugo the win.
These two will see each other again on Feb. 4 in Durant. The Lions (6-9) travel to Idabel this Friday for their next game.
Hugo girls 69 Durant 34
The Lady Lions struggled from the floor early against the eighth-ranked Hugo Lady Buffaloes, eventually falling by 35.
Hugo raced ahead to an 18-6 lead after one quarter as Durant shot 2-for-8 from the field to start. The Lady Lions improved their shooting in the second, going 5-for-7 as a team and scoring 13 points (six from Ciera Taylor).
Kylie Manning hooked up with Alexa Richards for a baseline three during this stretch as well.
But Hugo had too much inside presence as their shooters were able to tame the glass and go on a 20-8 run through the third. The Lady Buffs otscored Durant 14-7 in the fourth.
Taylor led the Lady Lions with 11 points on 4-for-8 shooting from the floor. Rheagan Jones had seven points and four rebounds.
Makayla Patton scored six and grabbed six rebounds; Summer Simeroth had six points and four rebounds; Richards finished with three points and three assists; Sarah Roesler contributed a fourth quarter free throw.
Torri Tarkington led Hugo (11-3) with 16 points, followed by Ray’Shee Smith with 10 and three Lady Buffs hitting nine.
Reach Zach Maxwell at (580)924-4388 or on Twitter@SportsMaxwell