CADDO - Bronson Burns of Rock Creek turned in a team-best 29 points and seven rebounds on Tuesday, but still had to reach into his bag of tricks to fend off a late surge by Calera.
Down by 20 early in the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs got within five points before Burns was fouled on a good three-point shot to set up a free throw and a rare but timely four-point play.
The exchange nearly doubled the Mustangs’ lead, and they went on to a 69-63 win over Calera in the Bryan County Tournament boys bracket opener in Caddo.
Burns got a lot of help from his teammates. Ethan Mitchell erupted for 16 points and eight rebounds and Justice Martin had a pair of timely threes on his way to 10 points.
Toby McIntyre had seven in the first half, Tyler Parker scored four in the first quarter but also collected a critical six rebounds, and Garrett Mitchell had a second-quarter three-ball which was part of a 17-9 Rock Creek run.
Calera got 26 points and four steals from sophomore Bradley McKnight, while senior Tanner Davis had a healthy 19 points and four steals. Braxton Barton scored 10 and grabbed six boards, Johnathan Diamond had six second-half points, and Riley Barton scored a bucket in the fourth quarter.
The Mustangs raced out to a quick 6-0 start but Calera finished strong to trail 17-13 after one quarter after falling behind by 11. Rock Creek (7-8) held firm and led 34-22 at halftime.
The Bulldogs were poised for a run but a pair of hook shots from Mitchell and a late three from Burns got the Mustangs in front 50-36 at the end of three. Rock Creek started the fourth hot and built a 20-point lead but watched it wither to single digits.
Calera had three chances to cut into a nine-point deficit when McKnight finally connected on a three to make it 60-54 with 2:30 to go. After Burns hit his four-point play, Rock Creek led by eight.
McKnight stole the ball and was driving for two when Rock Creek reserve Matt Converse came up with one of the biggest plays of the night on a blocked shot. Braxton Barton scored four of his six points to get Calera within five again before time ran out on the Bulldogs.
Tushka boys 69 Caddo 49
The Tushka Tigers improved to 16-2 on the season by dispatching their hosts 69-49 Tuesday at the Bryan County Tournament.
Wyatt Daniel scored 21 points to go with six rebounds for the Tigers. Isaac Cooper shot his way to 19 points with eight boards, and Garrette Wall played a big factor on the glass with 11 rebounds to go with eight points. Samuel Ward also had eight for Tushka.
Patrick Joines erupted for 24 points for the Bruins, while Tanner Grace was held to 10. Daniel Stone had six off the bench, Rosendo Chavez had four, Kolton Dixon scored three and Jacob Ross scored an early basket.
Tushka held a 20-17 lead at the end of one quarter, but held Caddo to zero field goals in the second in a 14-3 Tiger run. The halftime lead for Tushka was 34-20, and the Tigers went on to outscore the Bruins 35-29 in the second half.
Calera will take on Caddo at 8:45 p.m. Thursday at Bloomer Sullivan Arena in Durant, while Rock Creek and Tushka will fill out the winner’s bracket at 8:45 p.m. Friday, also in Durant.