Johnson ices Cubs' OT win for district title

Friday, March 7, 2003

DELTA, Mo. -- With fans packed into Delta High School on Thursday for the Class 1, District 2 championship, the school's gym became a sauna.

All the while, Bell City junior Domintirix Johnson looked like he had ice in his veins.

As both teams traded leads, Johnson hit 9 of 10 free throws in overtime to help the state's fifth-ranked team squeak out a 76-71 win to advance to meet No. 2-ranked Clarkton in the sectional round Tuesday in Sikeston.

"He's clutch," Bell City coach David Heeb said. "He's just a tough kid."

In a game that saw the Cubs (24-5) lead by 17 early in the second quarter, it was the fourth quarter -- and eventually overtime -- that decided the game. With the help of a big third quarter, Oran (22-7) squared it up at 49 entering the fourth quarter.

The fourth quarter was a test to see who could come up with the big stop. Eagles forward Tyler Cookson scored early, Cubs guard Eric Henry answered. Henry gave the Cubs a lead, Garrett Roslen answered. In all there were six ties in the quarter.

"Neither team could come up with it," Heeb said.

After Cookson tied the score at 63 with 20 seconds remaining, Johnson had one last try to end it in regulation. Johnson drove to the basket and put up a floating shot, but the shot rimmed out, and the teams would have four minutes more to settle things.

In overtime it was all Johnson. The Eagles couldn't stop his drive, sending him to the line on five separate occasions. Johnson's third and fourth points of overtime tied the score at 69, and Ben Duncan's free throw with a minute remaining gave the Cubs the lead for good at 70-69.

"Ben Duncan made some big free throws," Heeb said.

Johnson led the Cubs with 25 points. Henry added 20 points for the Cubs, Kenyon Wright had 11, and Duncan had 14. For the Eagles Nathan Seyer had 24 points, and Cookson had 16.

"They're as good as any team in this area down there," Heeb said of Oran's two post players.

Heeb said he was grateful to come out of the game with a win.

"I tell you what, it was a great game," he said.

Delta moves to sectional with big win

Host Delta limited second-seeded Scott County Central to 20 first-half points and cruised to a 70-44 win in the finals of the Class 1, District 2 tournament.

The top-seeded Bobcats (23-2) jumped to a 20-10 lead after the first quarter and led 35-20 at halftime. Delta increased its lead to 30 after three quarters before settling for the 26-point win.

Rebecca Below led all scorers for Delta with 30 points. Sarah Jo Cook added 12 points for Delta, and Katrina Flores had 10. Jennifer Hoots was the Bravettes' lone double-digit scorer with 13 points.

Delta will face Naylor in the sectional round at 8:15 p.m. Tuesday in Sikeston.

jjoffray@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 171

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