Both teams made critical mistakes down the stretch. The Jaguars missed three of their last seven free throws and turned the ball over at the end of regulation and the overtime period, while the Tigers missed three short shots and turned it over once themselves.
“You only get so many opportunities in a game, and it’s frustrating when you give away those easy ones,” coach Matt Thornton said. “But they didn’t hang their heads. They fought through it and made the big plays when we needed them. Jay’s one of those guys who can go off at any time.”
Finley finished with 20 points, six rebounds and four assists while being named tournament MVP. Cooper Clark added 19 for the Tigers, while Trey Ayala had 19 points and five boards for Westmoore, and Dillion Thompson added 19 as well.
After a back-and-forth first half, NHS built a 10-point lead in the third quarter, only to see the Jags storm back as center Sam Blodgett was forced to sit much of the second half with foul trouble and fouled out midway through the fourth. His counterpart from Westmoore, Tripp Fuller, took advantage of his absence, scoring 13 points and eight rebounds before himself fouling out late in the game.
“Sam’s kind of that glue that keeps us going,” Thornton said. “It hurts us when he’s out, but everyone stepped up. We played a lot of guys tonight, and this was a total team effort.”
Corbin HoslerFollow me @Chosler88chosler@normantranscript.com