State basketball tournament: Moyers' first trip to state ends in quarterfinals loss

Moyers had never sent a team, boys or girls, to state until this season. To be fair, though, there were a good number of years where Moyers didn't have a chance to send a team to state.
by Jenni Carlson Published: February 28, 2013
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A decade ago, another bond issue funded the building of a new gym, and slowly but surely, the basketball team improved. After winning only five games three years ago, the boys advanced to the area tournament the past two seasons but fell just short of making it to state.

This season, Moyers crossed that final hurdle and made state.

It was a feel-good story.

Of course, not every one of those has a feel-good ending.

Moyers faced Big Pasture on Thursday afternoon in the Class B quarterfinals, and neither team was ever able to build a double-digit lead. Every scoring run was answered. Every momentum swing was negated.

The final minute of the game was grand. Kyle Doty hit two free throws to give Big Pasture a three-point lead, then Caleb Armstrong hit a shot to cut the lead to one. Taran Knox hit two more free throws for Big Pasture, then Jake Dudley — yes, Donna Dudley's son — hit a three to tie the game.

Donna Dudley jumped up and down, her minicam recording the mayhem.

Then things got really exciting.

Big Pasture's Cameron Smith grabbed a rebound and scored on a putback with only five seconds left. Moyers pushed the ball up court, and with only .3 seconds left, Jake Dudley was fouled.

His first free-throw attempt spun in and out.

He intentionally missed the second, but Big Pasture grabbed the rebound as the buzzer sounded.

Big Pasture 66, Moyers 64.

“They performed very well to be under this pressure of never playing in a place as big as this,” Moyers coach Shane Winter said. “I'm proud of 'em.”

So was everyone else from Moyers.

As the players exited the locker room, most of them wearing ball caps pulled low, fans waited to hug their necks and pat their backs.

Donna Dudley was there, too. Even with the heartache for her town, her school and her son still fresh, she mustered a smile.

“It was a good game,” she said.

History and heartbreak rolled into one.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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