CHICKASHA - There’s always a fundamental statistic which teams can point to and blame for a win or a loss.
On Tuesday, it was free throws.
The Chickasha Fightin’ Chicks made nine out of 10 free throws in the fourth quarter - and ended up winning on a lay-up in the closing moments - in a 51-50 defeat of the Durant Lions on Tuesday.
This was all in spite of a five point Durant lead in the final two minutes. Too many turnovers with too much time remaining can also be blamed, since the Lions also led by as much as eight points earlier in the fourth.
Durant quickly built that eight point lead on a 13-5 run through the first quarter. But Chickasha answered with a 16-8 run to tie the game at 21 by halftime.
Landry Wright pushed the Lions’ lead to its pinnacle of eight points on threes to end the third and start the fourth. They maintained the lead until a 5-0 Chick run cut it to three.
Will Engle’s first basket at 1:16 gave the Lions a 48-43 lead. Chickasha would take over on free throws, then Zac Cater hit one of two to tie the game at 49 with 23 seconds left.
His second shot was tipped back to the Lions, resulting in a foul and Engle going to the line. He hit one shot to give Durant its last lead at 50-49 with 18 seconds left.
The Chicks hit a late layup, but Durant had one more chance to win the game. Engle got a good look at a baseline three on an in-bounds pass but it bounced off the rim.
Tyler Stovall led all Lions scorers with 12, followed by Cater’s 10. Alex Steve contributed nine off the bench, Landry Wright and Skye Lowe had six each, Engle finished with three, Layton Tubbs and Tyler Shade had two each.
The Lions were without James Donelan and Taylor Cox due to illnesses. They are expected to return to the lineup by Friday for the Lions’ last regular season game in Duncan.
Reach Zach Maxwell at (80)924-4388 or on Twitter @SportsMaxwell.