‘Cats overcome 7-point deficit in 4th to down Mangum, 63-61
Just find a way.
That mentality has the Cashion Wildcats within one win of the state tournament.
The Wildcats erased a seven-point fourth quarter deficit to prevail 63-61 over Mangum last Saturday in a Class 2A boys regional championship game at Boone-Apache High School.
“It was definitely exciting,” said coach John Hardaway, whose No. 2-ranked Wildcats play No. 6 Minco at 8 p.m. Friday in Weatherford for the area championship.
Cashion had erased most of its deficit in the fourth quarter, but still trailed 60-57 with just under 2:00 to play
“We switched up defenses several times in the fourth trying to find something that would stick,” Hardaway said. “And maybe that at least slowed them down a little bit.”
After Jacob Woody pulled Cashion within one at the 1:44 mark, Jonah Jenkins drew the fifth foul one of the offensive variety - on Trey Dickey with 1:26 to play.
Dickey left with 19 points.
“It also helped they got into foul trouble in the fourth, including their two best scorers,” noted Hardaway.
On the ensuing possession, Jenkins gave Cashion a brief lead with a driving with 1:17 to play
After Bryceton Williams made the second of two free throws with 1:08 to play to tie it up, the teams traded miscues.
Woody turned it over on Cashion’s end, but Mangum couldn’t convert a layup on its end.
Vance Raney pulled down the rebound and got it to Jenkins, who was fouled with 33 seconds to play.
Jenkins made just one free throw for a 62-61 advantage, but Woody helped get the ball back for the Wildcats.
He drew a charge on Colton Laughlin, his fifth foul, on Mangum’s next possession.
Cashion was able to work the clock down to 5.6 seconds before a Mangum foul sent Alex Nabavi to the line. He, too, missed the first, but made the second for a two-point lead.
Raney’s steal before Mangum could get off a shot sealed the win.
“We just had so many guys step up and make big plays at different times,” Hardaway said.
Jenkins scored 27 points, but Hardaway said his contributions to winning went well beyond scoring.
“They full-court man pressed us the whole game and he didn’t blink once,” Hardaway said. “He thrived.”
Woody scored 20 to go with six rebounds and Nabavi scored 12, including a 3-pointer that tied the game at one point in the fourth quarter.
Williams led Mangum with 25 points and nine boards.
If Cashion (24-2) beats Minco (22-4) it will make its first state appearance since 1996.
A loss would send the Wildcats to the consolation final at 8 p.m. Saturday, also at the Pioneer Cellular Event Center on the SWOSU campus.