Neal's free throws help Titans to win
Casey Neal (20) dribbles the basketball up the court for East Oktibbeha Thursday night. (Kim Murrell/SDN)
CRAWFORD â€“ Casey Neal didn't make every free throw for the East Oktibbeha Titans Thursday night, but he made some pretty big ones.
With the Titans down to the McAdams Bulldogs 71-69 with 10 seconds left in regulation, Neal calmly stepped to the stripe and sank two free throws to tie the game and send it into overtime.
Neal hit six more from the line in the extra frame as the Titans pulled out an 85-79 victory in the final game of the East Oktibbeha Tournament.
"When I started hitting them, I knew I could hit them," Neal said about his clutch free-throw shooting.
Neal, who was battling leg cramps throughout the game, scored 36 points to lead the Titans.
"I just had to fight for my team," Neal said about fighting through the pain. "I told my team that if they fight for me, then I'm going to fight for them."
It looked as if Neal and company were in control against McAdams after taking a 36-28 lead at halftime.
East Oktibbeha went on a 10-0 run from the 50-second mark of the first quarter to 6:50 remaining in the second quarter to go up 20-10.
The Titans held an 11-point advantage several times throughout the second quarter, but couldn't pull away from the Bulldogs.
McAdams was able to come back and take a 47-45 lead during the third quarter. The game went back and forth from that point until East Oktibbeha gained separation in overtime.
Chris Hunter was the other Titan to score in double figures with 18, while Marlan Fair and Davalyn Bell chipped in eight points each.
West Oktibbeha 69
CRAWFORD â€“ The Timberwolves had their Class 6A opponent down, but couldn't close the deal during the East Oktibbeha Tournament.
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West Oktibbeha was able to rally from a 14-12 first-quarter deficit to gain a 32-29 advantage at halftime and stretched it to 56-47 after three quarters.
Columbus out-scored the Timberwolves 24-13 in the final quarter to secure the win.
Dantaveous Crawford led West Oktibbeha with 17 points, while Aaron Brownlee added 15 points and Kendrick Yates chipped in 12 points.