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Comeback keeps season going

February 25, 2024 - 00:00
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Mecklenburg makes 5 treys, Gilles hits game winner against Sulphur

  • Comeback keeps season going
    MATTHEW MECKLENBURG fires a 3-pointer from the corner during the second half of Kingfisher’s victory against Sulphur. Mecklenburg made five treys to help lead the Jackets to a two-point victory. [Photo by Russell Stitt/www.stitt.smugmug. com]

The Jackets were down.

Apparently they weren’t out.

Kingfisher extended its season at least one more day by slipping past Sulphur 37-35 in a Class 4A regional consolation quarterfi nal.

Coleman Gilles went end-to-end and scored with 3.3 seconds showing on the clock while being fouled to give the Jackets a two-point lead.

His free throw missed, but so did Sulphur’s desperation 3-pointer, putting the Jackets into another elimination game on Friday.

KHS played Broken Bow at 2:30 p.m. (after press time).

It just about 35 seconds before Gilles put KHS up that the Jackets were trailing by four points.

Jhett Birdwell was sent to the line with Sulphur up 35-31 with 37.5 seconds showing on the clock.

He missed his first, but the game changed on the next shot.

Birdwell made it while Sulphur’s Colten Cole was simultaneously called for a technical foul while trying to get position under the basket.

That sent Birdwell back to the foul line, where he again made 1 of 2, bringing the Jackets within 35-33 and maintaining possession.

They made the possession count as they worked the ball inside to Jake Reagan, who scored with 25 seconds to go, tying the game up.

Sulphur opted to not call a timeout, but put the ball in the hands of Bridge Barrett, who led the Bulldogs in scoring.

He got an open 15-footer on the baseline, but it was off the mark.

Gilles grabbed the rebound and was off to the races.

The senior was fouled about 10 feet out, but still made the shot to give KHS the lead for good.

It capped a game that Kingfisher was seemingly in control of, then seemingly lost all hope.

Gilles picked up three quick fouls in the first quarter, sending him to the bench for the rest of the half.

But Matthew Mecklenburg came off the bench to provide the Jackets a spark.

The junior guard nailed a 3-pointer near the end of the first quarter and added three more of them in the second, leading them to a 24-17 halftime lead.

The Bulldogs switched from a zone to a man-to-man defense, limiting Mecklenburg’s looks in the second half.

It worked on everyone as the Bulldogs took the lead with an 11-2 run in the third quarter.

Kingfisher still only had two points in the half when Barrett made two free throws with 3:04 to go to put his team up 32-26.

Mecklenburg ended the drought with his fifth 3-pointer of the game with 2:26 left, pulling KHS within 32-29.

That sparked Kingfisher as Gilles swiped a steal and laid it off the glass with 1:40 left.

The Jackets were within a point, but Sulphur was able to push it back to a four-point game when Barrett and Devin Willis went 3 of 4 at the line prior to the frantic ending.

Barrett scored 13 for Sulphur, which saw its season end with a 10-15 record.

Mecklenburg paced the Jackets with 15 points.

Carter Kitchens and Reagan scored seven apiece while Gilles added six.