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January 27, 2014

Minco fights through late OCA surge to claim title

AMBER —

Last year’s tournament boys’ runner-up Minco went one better this time around, lifting the title with a 71-49 win over Oklahoma Christian Academy.

Four players scored in double-digits for the Bulldogs, with Asher Baade and Blake Schneberger leading the charge on 21 points each. The win was in spite of Caleb Kingsley’s efforts for the Eagles. His 30 points just about brought OCA back into the game from a huge deficit.

"We played really well down the stretch; made free throws, blocked out, and got rebounds," head coach Robert Duvall said about his Minco's team ability to close the game out. "This is my 19th go at this thing, and it seems like whoever wins Grady County, it's a big stepping stone to the playoffs."

The Bulldogs always looked like a team capable of winning it. A mix of athleticism, size and consistent shooting made their week in Amber something to remember going forward. They showed the confidence to score from almost any angle. But the fourth-seed Eagles punched above their weight to get into the final by beating top-seed Alex, and they nearly pulled off one of the biggest comeback's in tournament history.

The first quarter was all Nathaniel Garner. He scored 12 of OCA’s 17 points, which helped them to an early lead. Kingsley hit two back-to-back three pointers to put the Eagles on a 10-2 run after a back-and-forth beginning that made this look like it would be a game of trading punches.

Then Minco took over. Hunter Jones popped up on the baseline for a few big buckets from midrange to score six points in the second quarter, and later had 18 for the night. Schneberger got going as halftime loomed to help the Bulldogs take the lead back. Minco outscored OCA 18-7 in the second quarter as the Bulldogs surged back, and they weren't done.

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