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Cats win Consolation Championship in double overtime

PARK HILLS–Thirty-two regulation minutes were not enough to decide the winner of the Consolation Championship of the Central Christmas Tournament.

In fact, one overtime period was not enough for this battle of Cats and Dogs. The Fredericktown Blackcats defeated the St. Clair Bulldogs, 43-40, in double overtime.

The Cats fell behind early, as Evan Murphy knocked down a pair of shots to give the Bulldogs an 8-3 lead. FHS responded with a Brock Mills bucket and a Keith Jackson 3-pointer for the first of several ties in this game. When Jackson and Mills scored again to end the period, Fredericktown led 12-11 after one quarter.

The Cats led 14-13 early in the second quarter, before St. Clair ran off a 10-1 run to lead 23-15 at the half.

Ben Fedderson scored for the Bulldogs to start the third quarter. Trailing 25-15, the Cats ran off an 11-0 run to regain the lead. Justin Sawyer started the run, and Mills and Tanner Ward each scored twice along the way. Murphy hit a 3-pointer to give the Bulldogs a 28-26 lead with a quarter to play.

Neither team scored for nearly three minutes of the final regulation period. With 5:01 left, Jackson hit a trey to give the Cats the lead. Ward added a basket for a 31-28 Cats advantage. The Bulldogs regained the lead, before Sawyer knocked down a 3-pointer. Neyko Dominguez tied the game at 34-34, and the Cats held the ball for a last shot. Jackson missed, and Nick Oertel was unable to convert the offensive rebound, sending the game to overtime.

Dominguez hit a pair of free throws to give the Bulldogs an early lead in overtime. Jackson tied it, and Mills hit a pair of free throws to put he Cats up 38-36 with 1:01 to play. Adam Brott tied the game, and the Cats again held for a final shot. FHS turned the ball over late, and the game went to a second overtime.

Two more clutch free throws by Mills gave the Cats the lead with just 1:26 to play. Jake Korokis and Oertel added free throws for a 4-point lead. Dominguez cut the lead to two with 5.4 seconds left. Jackson hit a free throw with 1.9 left. A long heave from Dominguez hit the front of the rim and bounced away as time expired.

Mills paced the Cats with 16 points. Jackson scored 12, Ward had six, Sawyer had five, Korokis had three, and Oertel had one.

The Cats host Farmington, Friday.

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