Paul Meuser is generally an easygoing guy on the sideline. But the Tuttle coach seemed to be enjoying himself a little more than usual during Friday night's 64-39 district playoff win over Bethany.
Meuser spent the previous three days in the hospital undergoing tests and treatment to boost his struggling immune system. Though he's still awaiting some of the test results, he was released from the hospital Thursday night and cleared to coach.
“I think he was glad to be back,” said junior guard Tyler Lester, who scored a game-high 16 points for the eighth-ranked Tigers. “It meant a lot to have him there. I know we were all worried about him, but having him back on the bench let us get back in the same routine.”
Tuttle was hot from the start, hitting six of their nine 3-pointers in the first half to build a 30-18 lead. Lester had four of the team's treys as the Tigers improved to 21-2 on the season.
“Our goal was to get off to a good start,” Meuser said. “I'm just so proud of our kids. You can tell when you watch a team when they have some characters out there, and you can tell when there are quality kids out there on the floor, and that's what we have.”
PIEDMONT RALLIES PAST CARL ALBERT IN OT
Trailing by eight with three minutes left, all Piedmont senior Cameron Peters could think about was keeping the third-ranked Wildcats' perfect record at home during the regular season.
Senior Kendell Franklin made sure Peters had a chance to deliver that, making a layup with 10.2 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime against No. 4 Carl Albert.
Peters then did the rest, scoring the first four points in overtime to lift Piedmont to a 73-71 victory that previewed a possible playoff game in two weeks.
“It's huge,” Peters said. “We haven't lost at home, so it‘s huge. We knew Carl Albert was the team to beat and the whole Piedmont community knew that, so we just had to take it.”
Taking it wasn't easy, though.
Carl Albert led from early in the second quarter until Peters hit a free throw to open overtime. And early on it appeared as if Carl Albert senior Cameron Warren was going to repeat his 45-point performance from Tuesday as he scored 22 points in the first half.
Warren, however, was limited to just nine points in the second half to finish with 31.
“The only thing we did that really slowed him down was stay in front of him when he drove, because that's really where he got most of his points,” Peters said.
Warren missed the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer to end regulation. Carl Albert also had three attempts as time ran out under the basket that would have tied the game. And with each near miss, Peters' heart dropped.
“I always get nervous,” he said while smiling. “I was afraid it was going to go in.”
Class 5A No. 1 McGuinness got 18 points from Stephen Amalong and 16 from Brian Canfield in a 54-35 win over Shawnee.
Amalong carried the load with 12 in the first half, while Canfield added 13 second-half points to help the Irish improve to 19-4.
McGuinness allowed only two second-quarter points to take a 25-11 halftime lead.
LEXINGTON ADVANCES WITH OT WIN
Jake Blanchard scored 25 points, and Lexington advanced to the Class 3A regional winner's bracket, surviving an overtime thriller, 52-47 over Prague.
Lance Winterton sent the game to overtime when he made two free throws to tie it with 20 seconds remaining. Lexington outscored Prague 8-3 in overtime.
Mustang's 6-foot-9 sophomore Austin Meyer had 16 points and 19 rebounds in a 50-46 win over Putnam City North ... KeSean Brown led No. 2 Midwest City with 20 points in a 64-53 win over Southmoore. ... Carson Teel's 18 points led Stillwater as it held off Southeast for a 70-69 win. ... Four Moore players scored in double figures as the Lions blasted Norman 86-51.