By CRAIG HALL
HOWE—Howe’s girls won big as expected over Panama to capture a 2A district championship here Saturday, but that was far from what happened in the second game.
Howe’s boys were supposed to win fairly easily also, but the Lions survived with a 41-39 decision over the Razorbacks. The Lady Lions had won the earlier game, 67-24.
All four teams move on to the regional tournament on Thursday at Talihina. In winner’s bracket games, Howe’s girls take on Pocola at 6:30 p.m. while the Lions face Talihina at 8 p.m.
In loser’s bracket play, Panama has two games with Crowder. The girls play at 1:30 p.m. with the boys playing at 3 p.m.
Howe’s boys were 19-5 going into the game while Panama was four game under the .500 mark. The Lions also won the earlier meeting by 13 points.
But Panama had four good shots in the final seconds to tie the score, only to see all four miss the mark. Howe led throughout the contest, but could never shake the Razorbacks.
The Lions led by eight points twice early in the final quarter before Panama started its comeback. Trailing 37-29, the Hogs scored five straight points on a free throw from Ben Whiteaker, a layup by Zach Timms and a pair of free throws by Tristan Thompson.
Gaven Brown answered with a layup for Howe before Timms hit a layup, was fouled and nailed the free throw to trim the lead to four points. Marten Timmerman gave the Lions a four-point lead on an assist by Josiah Mitchell with 1:22 left.
Thompson scored on a jumper with 48 seconds left. Howe turned the ball over twice, allowing Panama to get off four good shots. All of them missed, giving the Lions the win and the district title.
Brown scored 22 points to lead Howe, now 20-5. Timms had 17 points for Panama (8-13), including seven in the final period.
Howe’s girls got off to a fairly slow start, leading only 9-4 at the end of the first quarter before blowing the game open in the second quarter with a 20-5 run.
Braden Dorsey dominated inside, scoring 23 points for the Lady Lions while Morgan Hillebrand added 10. Brittnie Brassfield’s eight points led Panama.
Class 2A district tournament
Howe 67, Panama 24
Panama 4 5 5 10—24
Howe 9 20 19 19—67
Panama—Brittnie Brassfield 8, Hannah Goines 4, Maci Goines 3, Kalee Tobey 3, Ashley Stockton 3, Maddie Tackett 2, Salena Palma 1
Howe—Braden Dorsey 23, Morgan Hillebrand 10, Tori Johnson 6, Taya Kellogg 5, Shala Brown 5, Jentry Brown 5, LuAnn Davis 4, Lauren Evans 3, Karagin Angel 2, Kerstein Hall 2, Kealy Brandin 2.
Howe 41, Panama 39
Panama 7 8 12 12—39
Howe 10 10 12 9—41
Panama—Zach Timms 17, Ben Whiteaker 9, Tristan Thompson 6, Jeremy Lloyd 4, Blake Emmert 2, Dakota Eaves 1.
Howe—Gaven Brown 22, Josiah Mitchell 8, Reid Frasher 7, Marten Timmermann 4