HENNESSEY — A spirited Classen SAS squad didn’t allow a seven-point halftime deficit get them down as the Comets rebounded for a 50-39 win over Elgin in the first round of the Area Tournament last Thursday.
The Owls started the game with a bang and went on a 10-0 scoring run in the first quarter to lead 13-9. Later in the second quarter, Elgin had another 10-0 scoring spurt to lead 23-9. From there, Classen outscored the Owls 8-1 as Elgin led at halftime 24-17.
But the second half was a different story.
Classen outscored Elgin 15-6 in the third quarter to take a 32-30 lead entering the final eight minutes and then outlasted the Owls 18-7 in the final frame. Elgin had led the game until the 1:58 mark of the third quarter when Classen hit two free throws to lead 30-28.
Elgin head coach Ryan Green was whistled for a technical foul late in the fourth quarter after a no-call on an apparent foul by Classen, which led 41-33 at that point. However, the Comets proceeded to tally seven free throws and another bucket to finish the scoring.
“In the first half, we executed perfectly and hit big shots,” Green said. “But their pressure in the second half gave us fits. We let it bother us and couldn’t get do anything with it after we got the ball past half-court. But I’m proud of ‘em. It was a tough one to lose.”
Green believes the second half officiating played a part in the outcome.
“I was frustrated with the calls or non-calls,” he said. “They were calling hand checks on us and not on them. The fouls were 9-2 in their favor with four minutes to go in the second half. It (officiating) definitely had a hand in the game.”
Elgin ends the season with a 13-14 record.
The Owls had some close games that didn’t go their way including a handful that were decided by five points or less. Anadarko and Purcell each defeated Elgin by five. But there were highlights as well. Among them was the season-opening 60-50 win over Altus, two wins over rival Duncan, a four-point victory over Chickasha and a two-point regional tournament win over Bethany.
Elgin loses point guard Jaylon Nettles and leading scorer Christian Reed to graduation.