With less than a minute remaining Thursday, it appeared Haworth was well on its way to a win over Konawa in the first round of the Class 2A boys state tournament.
The Lions had the ball and a four-point lead, but that's when things got interesting before Haworth escaped with a 47-44 victory.
After a Haworth turnover, Konawa's Trent Davis hit a 3-pointer with 23.5 seconds remaining to pull the Tigers within one. Then, Haworth sophomore Oscar Rivera stepped over the line before passing the ball inbounds, resulting in another Haworth turnover.
Rivera immediately made up for the error by deflecting a Konawa pass and diving on the loose ball to regain possession for Haworth. Junior Hayden Grimes then knocked down two free throws to give Haworth a three-point lead with just 5 seconds remaining.
Konawa had one last chance to tie as Alex Yellowfish fired up a 3-pointer from just inside half court, but the desperation heave missed everything and Haworth (26-6) escaped.
“We showed a lot of mental toughness to hang on and win,” Haworth coach Burtchal Griffin said. “That type of resiliency shows the mark of a true champion.”
Haworth started the second half on a 7-0 to build a seven-point lead, but Konawa refused to go away. By the end of the third quarter, the Tigers were back to within striking distance, trailing 36-33.
Grimes led all scorers with 17 points. Konawa (21-8) was led by Zach Snow who finished with 14 points.
Haworth advances to play Thomas in the semifinals on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Oklahoma City University.
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