IDABEL - The Durant Lions are finding new ways to lose ballgames.
Lately, its been through digging holes and clawing back for a dramatic loss. Such was the case on Friday in a 52-49 decision favoring Idabel which, like many Lions games, came down to the wire.
This time, Durant got a little help from the refs - just not the help they wanted.
The Lions were down by eight points in the final minute of the game. Coach Aaron Mullens, substituting for an injured Jason Wilkerson, called a time-out and drew up some plays.
Tyler Stovall hit a pair of threes to get the Lions as close as 51-49 with 29 seconds left. Idabel coughed up the ball to the Lions, who tried to get it into James Donelan’s hands in the paint.
But Idabel had the better hands, grabbing a steal in the final 10 seconds. An intentional back court foul with six seconds was overlooked by the referees and another was finally called with 1.6 left.
The difference of five seconds basically decided the game in Idabel’s favor. They hit one free throw and intentionally missed a second, forcing a desperation back court shot from the Lions.
Durant kept pace with Idabel for a 22-22 halftime tie, but the Warriors opened the third on a 10-4 run. Idabel outscored Durant 30-27 in the second half.
Donelan’s double-double paced the Lions effort with 19 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots. Will Engle scored eight points.
Stovall and Skye Lowe scored six each; Zac Cater had five points and five rebounds; Taylor Cox hit a first-half three; Landry Wright added two points and four rebounds off the bench.
The Lions host Hugo on Tuesday at 8 p.m. for a re-match of a Jan. 24 game, in which the Buffaloes escaped with a 48-45 win over Durant.
Idabel girls 51 Durant 35
Midway through the third quarter, the Lady Lions were within three points of Idabel. But Durant’s rebounding and shot-making suddenly shut down, allowing the Lady Warriors to go on a 21-8 run through the third quarter toward an eventual 16-point win.
Cierra Taylor scored 17 points and pulled down eight boards to lead the Lady Lions. Makayla Patton had nine points and six rebounds.
Rheagan Jones added six and Alexa Richards had three points and four rebounds.
Idabel led 10-9 at the end of one quarter and held a slim 22-18 lead at the break. The Lady Warriors pushed the lead to six before a three-point play from Taylor got the Lady Lions within three at 26-23.
A 12-3 run for Idabel set the tone for the rest of the game. The Lady Lions host Hugo at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Reach Zach Maxwell at (580) 924-4388 or on Twitter @SportsMaxwell