Saturday night’s Doc Edwards Invitational boys final between Bossier and Ouachita at the CenturyLink Center was set up for a thrilling Bearkats win.
Bossier had battled its way back from a five point deficit entering the fourth and had the ball down a point with 16.6 seconds left on the clock.
The Bearkats ran a perfect play and had an open layup with two second left. The shot didn’t fall, and the Lions (14-4) held on for a 43-42 win.
“Anytime you have a layup in that situation, that’s the best shot you could possibly have,” Bossier coach Jeremiah Williams said. “We wanted something going to the basket. We were only down one point. We wanted a two-point shot, so we didn’t want to force a three. We thought that was a shot that was going in, but it didn’t go our way this time.”
Bossier’s Tevin Robertson, who led all scorers with 20 points, got the Bearkats (13-3) back in the game at the start of the fourth. He scored the first six points of the quarter, including a monster and-one, fast-break dunk that woke up the crowd, to give Bossier a 36-35 lead with 4:34 left in the game.
“Tevin had a great game today,” Williams said. “We were on him after yesterday’s game about stepping up a little more. We need him. He did a great job of stepping up today, especially late in the game.”
With Bossier down 39-36, Robertson scored on a layup, with Deorvion Robinson assisting. Then, with the Lions up 43-40, Robertson tipped the ball.
“He was really a man for us down the stretch,” Williams said. “We need him to do that for us to be a force in 3A.”
The Bearkats forced two turnovers in the final moments. The second set up Bossier’s game-winning attempt. But the Lions pulled out the win.
“I think it’s case of, we’ve been in some big ballgames this year already,” Ouachita coach Casey Jones said. “Some nail-biters have gone our way, and some have gone against us. I just called a timeout, and told our guys, ‘stay poised, keep playing, and it will work out in the end.'”
The game wasn’t pretty early.
“This was two defensive minded teams, and Ouachita has a great tradition of playing great defense there,” Williams said. “We have the same at Bossier. You have two teams get together that play defense like that, and it’s going to be a dadgum fistfight. A heavyweight bout. I figured it would come down to being a close game.”
Robertson gave Bossier a 2-0 lead with a layup in the post on the first possession of the game. But the Bearkats didn’t score again for more than six minutes, when Devonte Hall cut Ouachita’s lead to 8-3 with a free throw.
Bossier was able to claw its way within two by the second quarter, trailing 9-7 after Rashard Owens hit a short jumper and Robinson hit two free throws.
“You had two teams that really focus on the defensive end of the court,” Jones said. “And playing in an area like this here, sometimes shots that you normally make in a normal size gym are a little tougher. I think that played to the low-scoring game.”
Breon Morris tied the game 9-9 to start the second, and the teams battled to a 19-19 halftime tie. Yettra Specks led the Lions with 13 points, and he put in 11 of them in the first half. Robertson scored on an up-and-under move in the post, and Hall hit four free throws to keep Bossier in the game.
Ouachita started the second half on a 5-0 run, but Bossier’s offense found a spark. Owens hit a long-range 3-pointer to get the Bearkats back within two. Ouachita went up 35-28, and Bossier responded again.
Demonta Wills made a layup at the third-quarter buzzer to draw the Bearkats within 35-30 heading to the fourth quarter.
Then Robertson took over to score the first six points of the fourth.
Even though Bossier had a chance to win on its final shot, Williams said the missed layup didn’t lose the game.
“One possession never decides the game,” he said. “I say all the time that it’s not anybody’s fault. We just didn’t make plays throughout the course of the game.”
Hall and Wills landed on the all-tournament team for Bossier. Captain Shreve’s Raheem Thomas and Mansfield’s Brandon Campbell joined Ouachita’s Chris Sumbler and Specks on the team. Ouchita’s Dearius Rollins, who scored six points Saturday, was named tournament MVP.