It was Mookie to the rescue again for Overton.
Junior point guard Mookie Betts helped lead the Bobcats from a five-point deficit with two minutes to go, enabling them to pull out a 68-64 victory over Hunters Lane for the District 12-AAA boys championship Tuesday night at McGavock High School.
Betts knocked down a three, then hit a pair of free throws with 1:51 left to pull Overton into a 59-59 tie with 1:51 left. But his biggest play came on a steal of in-bounds pass, followed by an assist to Dezmond Johnson for a three-point play which gave the Bobcats the lead for good, 62-59.
“We worked really hard in practice for their press, and we watched a lot of tape on them,’’ said Betts, who was named the tournament MVP. That came after he scored 16 of his team high 18 points in the second half while dishing out six assists.
“We started sharing the ball better, and we turned up our defense,’’ said Betts who has been a key player in close Bobcat wins several times this season. “We had to because Hunters Lane is a great team.’’
It enabled Overton to capture its first district championship since the Chris Hight (current Bobcat assistant) led team won the crown in 1995.
Johnson picked up his fourth foul in the third quarter, forcing him to sit for awhile, but he returned to finish with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Cameron Lewis added 17.
“I had to back off on defense a little so as not to foul out,’’ Johnson said. “Hunters Lane is a great team. If we play our best and they play their best (in region), we may have a rematch in the region finals.’’
Joseph Wilbert scored a game-high 23 points for Hunters Lane, including back-to-back hoops for the Warriors for a 52-48 lead. Antwon Van Lier added 15 for the Warriors, who led most of the way.
The two teams split their regular season games after which Overton won a coin toss for top seed.
“Some of our guys got a little chippy with each other during a time out in the fourth quarter, and I think that helped us get re-focused a little bit,’’ said Coach James McKee, whose first Overton team finished fourth in the district tournament last year.
“Mookie made some really big plays down the stretch when it looked like the game might be getting away from us,’’ he said.
Overton (27-3) will host old rival Hillsboro Saturday night in the opening round of the Region 6-AAA tournament. Hunters Lane will host Independence. Those winners advance to the semifinals next week, also at McGavock.
“The kids know each other, some have grown up together playing basketball,’’ McKee said about the game with Hillsboro.
Glencliff captures girls title
Glencliff High held off a late Overton rally and captured the District 12-AAA championship with a 47-44 win over the Bobcats in the girls final at McGavock.
Akia Jones steal and layup snapped a ie and gave the Colts a 44-42 lead and added a gree throw seconds later for a 45-42 lead. That came after Overton star Pam Honeysucker drilled a three-point shot with 2:02 left, rallying the Bobcats to a 42-42 tie.
Glencliff appeared in good shape with the ball and a three-point lead, but Overton stole the inbounds pass after a scramble under the basket and called time out with 5.2 seconds left. The ball was inbounded into the corner for Honeysucker, but her possible game tying three-point attempt rimmed out and the Colts rebounded.
“That was fun game and one in which I love to coach,’’ said Glencliff coach Columbus Cody. “We didn’t say much after they (Overton) beat us in the final game of the regular season (which cost the Colts the top seed).
“I try to be as calm as I can to be a steadying influence on the girls, but honestly my heart is pounding just as fast as any of the girls,’’ he said, smiling.
Brianna Morrow, who was plagued with fouls after picking up her fourth on a charging call midway through the third quarter, led all scorers with 20 points, 15 in the first half.
Jones, who scored nine of her 11 in the fourth quarter, was named tournament MVP, while Morrow and Audrienne (Cupcake) Mingo were named all-tourney.
Honeysucker and Dominique Hannah were named all-tourney for Overton.