“Those guys are so quick that it forced us to play more 2-3 zone than usual,” Seymour said of the Noble backcourt. “It kind of forced our hand, but it also kept us in the game.”
Noble also helped itself with its rebounding, commanding a 44-25 edge on the boards.
But the Royals kept hanging tough, getting contributions from a number of sources on a night leading scorer Aaron Baker was saddled with foul trouble. Senior Blake Nelson had 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Matt Borgerding and Nate White added six points apiece. And the Royals converted 12 of 16 free throws, including their final six in overtime.
Baker wound up with 13 points, about eight below his average, before fouling out after missing a game-winning shot attempt in the closing seconds.
Noble’s Daniel Noland, who was fouled by Baker after rebounding the shot, hit both free throws to make it 44-41 with 0.43 seconds left and seemingly icing the game.
But on this night, the fun was just getting started.
Next up for CCS is a tough field at the County Line Invitational in Cashion. They’ll be the fourth seed behind the host school and traditional small school powerhouses Coyle and Oklahoma Christian School.
“District pairings come out next Tuesday, so this is a really big week for us to make a statement,” Seymour said.
The Royals open tournament play at 5:40 p.m. Thursday against Watonga.
Noble also goes to tournament play Thursday, heading to Newcastle for an 8:20 p.m. tipoff against the host Racers.