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.”