By DAR STAFF
BERNIE -- Jake Owens' drive down the lane with 1.4 seconds remaining produced the game-winning basket as the Bernie Mules beat back a stiff challenge by the upset-minded Dexter Bearcats, 58-56, Friday night.
Free throws played a pivotal role in the out come of the game between SCAA rivals and it was the state-ranked Mules that won that battle also, connecting on 16-of-23 (70 percent), while Dexter could only manage 11-of-20 (55 percent).
Jordan McGowan and Daniel Becking each hit both ends of 1-and-1 trips to the line in the final minute of play, with Becking's two pushing the Mules out front, 56-51, with 42 second to play.
Dexter responded with a three-point play from Alan Flannigan (56-54) at the 34 second mark, and Jon Bowman came up with a big steal near midcourt and delivered a pass to Gary Summers who was fouled going to the basket with 22 ticks showing on the clock. Summer knocked both charity shots down to tie the game and set the stage for Owens' last second heroics after Bernie coach Brad Botsch called for time-out to set up the last play of the game.
"It was somewhat like we planned," Botsch said of the played called during the timeout. "We wanted Jake (Welch) to have the opportunity to penetrate, and he didn't get that. We always have a second option of when you drive, either dump it or kick it, and luckily Jake (Owens) caught it and penetrated hard off the interchange and got a good luck at the basket and it fell for us."
McGowan and Owens both finished with 21 points on the night as the Mules, ranked No. 3 in Class 2, improved to 12-1 on the year. Welch was the only other Mule in double figures with 12.
Dexter was paced offensively by Kelley with 16 points while Flannigan chipped in with 15 as the Bearcats slipped to 6-8 on the season.
Doniphan 70, Naylor 51
Dons senior Mitch Granier scored a game-high 23 while junior Greg Davis added 22 for the Ozark Foothills Conference victory.
"We didn't get out to a real good start defensively," Doniphan coach Jason Andrews said. "We tightened up a little big that second quarter -- I don't know if Homecoming had anything to do with it or not -- but we got a little more focused and were able to get some stops."
Gavin Wilfong added 13 points for the Dons (8-6, 4-1 OFC).
Naylor (6-6, 2-1) was led by Travis Thomas with 21 points while Josh Cullison added 17.
Neelyville 62, Holcomb 38
The Tigers bounced back from a tough overtime loss to Puxico on Thursday night to beat the Hornets on Friday night.
Junior Jeremy Young notched another double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds for Neelyville (6-6). Young also had team-highs in blocks (five) and steals (three).
Curtis Hansen contributed 16 points for the Tigers and went 3-for-3 from beyond-thearc. The Tigers shot 50 percent (5-of-10) from three-point land.
Senior Daniel Cowin had a game-high 15 rebounds to go along with seven points.
Holcomb was led by Chad Adams with 15 points.
Campbell 72, Risco 61
The Camels grabbed their 10th win on the year as they downed Risco, which was ranked 10th in the Class 1 poll coming into the week.
The loss was Risco's second of the week as Clarkton beat them on Tuesday night.
"It was a good win," Campbell coach Steve Fowler said. "We are 10-2 now and playing pretty good."
Joe Campbell led the camels with a team-high 28 points.
"Joe played well," Coach Fowler said. "He stepped up and played a big game. He had the ball in hands as far as playing the point guard position and he did a great job taking care of the ball."
Senior Andrew Pearson added a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds for Campbell.
Clarkton 67, Gideon 64
The Reindeer got a big final period from Casey Redden, who scored all 11 of his points in the fourth quarter.
Redden was held scoreless the first three quarters, but made the final eight minutes count.
With the momentum slipping away from his team, Redden knocked down 3 three-pointers in the final quarter to keep his team in it.
Dustin Ferguson finished with 25 points while Jacob Redden added 11. Clarkton made 13-of-25 3-pointers on the night.
Bloomfield 81, Malden 56
The Wildcats took home the win on their homecourt as Leighton Hensley poured in a game-high 25 points.
Bloomfield (9-6) had two other players in double figures as Garrett Rice scored 14 points and Blake Harris added 13.
"We shot the ball fairly well," Bloomfield coach Dustin Hicks said. "Our offensive execution was better than what it has been."
Hicks noted that Rice is usually known for his defensive prowess really showed some offensive touch.
For Malden, Travis Gregory led with 12 points while Andy Matthews had nine.