HAYS — The first state basketball tournament win in Otis-Bison High School history had to be put on hold before it went into the record books.
At least for an overtime period.
Fowler guard Taylin Bird made sure of OT, driving the length of the court while darting through traffic all the way to the rim during the final seconds of regulation Thursday evening during an opening-round game of the Class 1A-Division II state tournament. Bird’s layup at the buzzer tied the game at 44, sending it into overtime and sending the Gross Memorial Coliseum crowd into delirium.
In overtime, where the Cougars outscored Fowler 9-6 for a 53-50 victory, Otis-Bison post player Brandon Pechanec’s three-point play with just over a minute remaining turned out to be the difference. It came before Fowler’s Abdiel Granados missed a game-tying 3-point attempt from the left wing with four seconds left in OT.
Pechanec, who was dominant in the post throughout, capped a game-high 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting for the 6-foot-3 junior with his three-point play, the byproduct of a simple entry pass into the post.
“What was big was our penetration from other guys and then dumping it down to (Pechanec),” Otis-Bison head coach Alan Clark said. “We also run a play that we call ‘Wheel’ and it’s set up to throw it in there to him and for him to seal (the defender) on the top side.
“We made good passes to him and led him right to the goal. There were a lot of people involved in making that play.”
Otis-Bison (15-9) to today’s semifinal at 4:45 against Hope (21-3). Hope edged Linn 41-40 in overtime, a prelude to the extra session between the Cougars and the Goldbugs.
Clark beamed when talking about his team engraving itself in the school record books
“It’s great for the kids,” Clark said. “It’s an honor for them and it’s history for them … the first time in our school history that we’ve won a state tournament game, and that’s big.”
It was Bird who was called for an offensive foul, an illegal pick, that led to Otis-Bison converting a pair of free throws for a two-point lead.
But even though the Cougars had a foul to give, Bird went the length of the floor to force OT.
“We just didn’t stop the ball,” Clark said. “At the end of the game, that’s what you want to do is attack because most people don’t want to foul.
“We didn’t understand we had a foul to give, and we could have been more aggressive.”
Pechanec scored 14 of his 19 points after halftime, and sophomore guard Dylan Wissman finished with 17 points, including nine in the first half. The Cougars also had good floor games from Michael Hlavaty, Trevor Keller and Dominic Trapp.
Bird and Ty Clark led Fowler with 11 points apiece. The Goldbugs close their season at 18-5.
Fowler warmed up in the second quarter, outscoring the Cougars 9-6 to close its deficit to 18-14 at halftime.
Granados hit back-to-back perimeter baskets to close and open the first and second quarters, carving a 12-3 deficit to 12-8 on a wing shot and a 3. The two teams, who were both 6-for-16 from the field in the first half, traded baskets the remainder of the period,
Otis-Bison patiently worked the ball against Fowler’s 2-3 match-up zone defense and got high-percentage shots the entire first quarter.
“Our guys have learned to be patient against a zone,” Clark said. “They understand that when a team plays a zone, they don’t want to play it very long and they don’t want to play defense very long.
“They usually start to spread out, and then we’ll get an easy shot. What happened tonight was that (Fowler) was just as patient on defense as well as we were on offense. They made us run our offense a lot longer than what we normally do.”
The Cougars held a 12-5 lead after one period, highlighted by a three-point play and a driving layup by Wissman during the final 3:36.
The Cougars built a 5-0 lead before the game was even two minutes old. Pechanec scored in the lane and Wissman hit a pair of free throws for a 4-0 lead at the 7:23 mark.
Pechanec later made the second of two free throws before Bird made a free throw for the Goldbugs to make it a 5-1 game — the only points they scored until 1:26 remained in the period.
CLASS 1A-DIVISION II
Gross Memorial Coliseum
Otis-Bison High School 53,
Fowler 50, OT
Trevor Keller 2-5 2-7 6, Michael Hlavaty 2-6 4-6 8, Dylan Wissman 6-9 5-7 17, Dominic Trapp 1-6 1-2 3, Brandon Pechanec 8-9 3-5 19. Totals 19-35 15-27 53.
Jeremy Milford 4-9 0-0 8, Taylin Bird 4-11 1-2 11, Abdiel Granados 4-6 0-0 10, Cosme Estrada 0-0 0-0 0, Jett Reese 3-4 2-2 8, Tem Shetlety 1-10 0-0 2, Ty Clark 4-6 3-5 11. Totals 20-46 6-9 50.
Otis-Bison 12 6 14 12 9 — 53
Fowler 5 9 13 17 6 — 50
Three-point goals —Otis-Bison 0-5 (None); Fowler 4-17 (Bird 2-5, Granados 2-4, Shetley 0-5, Milford 0-3).