AFTON — Ryan Markes nailed a pair of free throws with 41 seconds remaining to give Afton a 45-43 victory over Oaks in the title game at their Class A Area III District 6 basketball tournament here Saturday night.
Oaks led by two (43-41) after Chad Haughn downed four straight free throws, the final two coming with 2:46 remaining.
The Eagles got the game tied with 2:22 left when Sam Shepard drove the baseline for a layup.
Haughn drew his fifth personal when he fouled Markes in a scramble for a rebound after an airball by the Warriors.
Markes converted on both chances, giving the Eagles a precarious two-point cushion.
He could have given his team a little more breathing room when he was fouled with 15 seconds left, but missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Tanner Philpot rebounded for the Warriors and kicked the ball out to Logan Reasor.
The first two options for the Warriors — Reasor and Jason Soap, who each had drained three treys — were covered. Soap had to pass to Colby Marler, whose shot at the buzzer missed the mark.
“I was proud of our kids for finding a way to hang on and win,” Afton coach David Markes said. “I would have liked to see Ryan make those last two. He made the first two to put us ahead then if he makes the last two, its a done deal. I know he will make them the next time.”
Oaks, which had beaten Watts 50-45 in Friday’s loser-out opener, broke out to an 8-2 lead against the Eagles.
The Warriors were up 16-13 at the end of the first quarter and they carried a 26-22 lead into the break.
Afton outscored the Warriors 9-3 to start the third quarter and led by as many as five points before a trey by Reasor created a 39-37 score heading into the final frame.
The score was tied three times in the fourth quarter before the two free throws by Ryan Markes gave the Eagles the lead for good.
“I don’t know if we let them hang around or if they just willed their way,” David Markes said. “They played a lot better than they did last night . They had great effort and their shots were falling. They hit some 3s that I didn’t see them hit last night. We were probably just a little bit rusty.”
Oaks 16 10 11 6 — 43
Afton 13 11 15 6 — 45
Oaks — Reasor 11, Haughn 10, Soap 9, Stanley 9, Philpot 2, Marler 2..
Afton — Markes 19, Mustain 11, Fuser