Vinita escapes elimination after late Berryhill rally
BY BARRY LEWIS World Sports Writer
Friday, March 01, 2013
3/01/13 at 5:22 AM
SKIATOOK - Vinita guard Phillip Willis was perfect in the fourth quarter on Thursday night and he had to be to keep Berryhill from pulling off a dramatic comeback with a 36-point barrage during the final eight minutes.
Willis scored 26 points, including 13 in the final period with the help of 10-of-10 free throw shooting, to preserve the 20th-ranked Hornets' 73-70 victory over No. 14 Berryhill in a Class 4A Area III Tournament elimination game at the Skiatook Multipurpose Activity Center.
"I like the ball in my hands when it's clutch," Willis said.
And so does Vinita coach Tony Roach.
"He likes that pressure and he likes that challenge," Roach said. "He's a very gutsy sophomore."
Garret Maxey added 17 points and Gage Bertram scored 13 for the Hornets (20-7), who advance to play Webster (15-13) in another elimination game at 3 p.m. Friday. Chandler Moczygemba and Brennan Robinson had 19 points each to lead the Chiefs, who finished 19-8.
Berryhill, which trailed the entire game, did everything it could to extend its season as it stormed back after falling behind 52-36 early in the fourth period.
"That was the longest eight minutes," Roach said, "I don't know if a team has got hotter in that stretch than those guys. The last eight minutes were like a full game. With three minutes to go they started fouling and I told my assistant coaches, 'Let's just get out of this game.' I thought they did a great job extending the game and making shots all the way to the end. Give a lot of credit to Berryhill."
Colin Belveal's trey cut the Chiefs' deficit to 63-59 with 1:40 left. Willis and Maxey answered with two free throws each, but Berryhill's Anthony Mayberry countered with a 3-pointer that made it 67-62. After Maxey made 1-of-2 free throws, Moczygemba swished a 3-pointer that reduced Vinita's lead to 68-65 with 50 seconds remaining.
Eight seconds later, Willis made two free throws and the Chiefs never got closer than 3 points or had a tying shot attempt.
Vinita scored the game's first nine points and was never caught. Willis made an acrobatic 15-foot shot to end the first half and sent the Hornets into intermission with a 33-23 advantage.
But early in the third quarter, Moczygemba scored seven straight points to cut Vinita's lead to 35-30. Maxey answered with a basket with a 6-0 run that restored control for the Hornets, who led 45-34 at the end of the third quarter.
Vinita 43, Oologah 36, OT (girls): Kamry Chamberlain scored three of her team-high 12 points in overtime to help the 11th-ranked Hornets overcome the Mustangs, who tied the game at 35 with 2.8 seconds left in regulation on Jessica Wolf's 25-foot shot for a trey - her only points of the game.
Halie Liggett opened the overtime with a basket and Vinita's Carsyn Spurgeon added the next three points on a basket and free throw. Chamberlain added three free throws. She also sank two free throws with 37 seconds left in regulation to give Vinita a 35-32 lead.
Taylor McElhaney had 13 points to lead No. 10 Oologah (20-7). McElhaney had consecutive baskets that cut Vinita's lead to 33-32 with 41 seconds remaining.
Vinita (20-8) advances to play No. 13 Victory Christian at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
VINITA 73, BERRYHILl 70
Berryhill (19-8): Moczygemba 19, Robinson 19, Losh 13, Belveal 7, A.Mayberry 7, B,Mayberry 3, Bra.Wilson 2.
Vinita (20-7): Willis 26, Maxey 17, Bertram 13, King 8, Speer 5, Bump 4.
VINITA 43, OOLOGAH 36, OT (girls)
Oologah (20-7): McElhaney 13, Nakvinda 8, G.Garrison 4, Pashley 4, Wolf 3, Evans 2, K.Garrison 2.
Vinita (20-8): Chamberlain 12, Spurgeon 9, Liggett 8, Mendell 4, Walker 4, McMeen 3, Woodard 3
Original Print Headline: Vinita escapes after late Berryhill rally
Barry Lewis 918-581-8393