CALERA - In the second-to-last set of games at Joe “Bok” Loughlin Gym, it was fitting that both came down to last-second shots.
The Bulldogs and Lady Dawgs both took one-point victories over Rattan on Friday, in a make-up game which had been postponed in January due to wintry weather. Depending on what happens this Friday against Atoka, the Rattan games could be the final Calera victories under the hangar.
The boys were led by sophomore Bradley McKnight, who took a bite out of the Rams with 25 points in a 62-61 decision. He shot 12-for-18 from the free throw line.
Braxton Barton scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds, but fouled out during a Rattan run in the fourth quarter. Brother Riley Barton came to the rescue, scoring a basket to stop the Rams’ run and hitting the game-winning shot on an unbalanced layup in the final seconds.
One could also conclude that a pair of technical fouls against Rattan - each of which led to extra points for Calera - cost the Rams the game. Coach Chris Brown got a first half “T” for barking at the refs while one of the Rams’ players drew the ire of the zebras after disputing a foul.
Rattan and Calera were locked up in the first half until McKnight’s three, a steal-and-score for Johnathan Diamond and a basket from Riggin Rogers gave the Dawgs some room. They led 31-25 at the half and 48-40 at the end of three.
The Calera lead hit 10 before Rattan made their run. The Bulldogs fell victim to sloppy ball-handling and Rattan capitalized by hitting shots. Sebastian Thurman of the Rams tied the game at 59-59 with 90 seconds remaining.
At 1:00, Riley Barton hit a free throw for a 60-59 lead. Thurman went to the line twice and split four freebies to give Rattan a 61-60 lead with 30 to go. Ten seconds later, Barton coaxed an unlikely game-winner off the glass but missed the “and-one” opportunity.
Rattan had a couple more looks but got tied up in the final seconds, in-bounding the ball with 2.5 left but missing the last shot.
Calera (17-6) visits Caddo on Tuesday before returning to Calera on Friday for the final game in the old gym against Atoka.
Calera girls 43 Rattan 42
The LadyDawgs avoided going to the dog house after taking a 21-point lead into the fourth quarter and escaping Rattan with a 43-42 win.
The near-epic collapse saw the Lady Rams go on a 24-4 run through the final eight minutes as Calera shot 0-for-everything from the field. Free throws from Taylor Pickett and Raylee Rogers accounted for Calera’s only fourth-quarter points.
The LadyDawgs went on a 16-5 streak to start the game, upped the lead to 28-14 by halftime and outscored the Lady Rams 11-4 in the third for a 39-18 advantage. Then Calera simply spiraled down.
Rattan scored 11 unanswered before Rogers hit a pair at the line. LadyDawg turnovers and Rattan shooting drew the game to a 41-39 Calera lead in the final minute. Rattan hit a three to take a 42-41 lead moments later.
Pickett was 0-for-3 from the line when she was fouled at 23 seconds. She kept her cool and hit both shots to gove Calera the 43-42 advantage. Rattan missed a final look and was forced to send Rogers back to the line when she got the rebound.
Pickett led Calera with 16 points, while Rogers had 14 and six rebounds. Madi Robinson scored seven, Ally Jackson hit an early three and Micaela Curtman also had a three.
Coach LaChelle Brown’s LadyDawgs are now 17-6 on the season with a big road game Tuesday against the fourth-ranked Caddo Lady Bruins. Calera will host a tough Atoka team on Friday at 6:30 to start the final evening of basketball at Calera Gym.