Stephenson’s Unique Cotton (21) drives against Tucker’s Jasani Buchanan during Tucker’s Region 4-6A overtime win. (Photo by Mark Brock)

The No. 8 ranked Tucker Lady Tigers pulled out a 45-43 thriller over the No. 7 ranked Stephenson Lady Jaguars to open an exciting night of Region 4-6A high school basketball at Stephenson on Friday night.

A clutch three-pointer by Tucker’s Kerrigan Johnson knotted the game at 38-38 with 25 seconds to play in regulation. Both teams missed opportunities in the final 15 seconds including a Stephenson shot at the buzzer that hit short off the rim that would send the game into overtime.

Jasani Buchanan gave Tucker (16-6, 10-3) the early lead 40-38 in overtime with a drive to the basket with 3:27 to play in the overtime. It would be the start of 6-1 run by the Lady Tigers that included a layup by Johnson and two free throws by Buchanan to make it 44-39 with 55 seconds to play.

Stephenson’s Kassidy Broussard scored back-to-back baskets in eight seconds to pull the Lady Jaguars (13-7, 9-3) with 44-43 with 23 seconds remaining.

A charging call on Stephenson following a turnover by Tucker gave the Lady Tigers the ball with 0.8 seconds to play and Devyn Lockhart was fouled on the inbounds play. Lockhart hit the first of two free throws and missed the second and the clock went to zero.

Both teams had rallied from six-point deficits in the second half after being tied 14-14 at the half. Tucker built a 25-19 lead with 3:40 left in the third quarter as Buchanan drove for a basket.

Stephenson rallied behind four points from both Sierra Wynn and Broussard to take a 29-27 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Broussard put the Lady Jaguars up 35-29 with 4:43 to force the comeback by Tucker in the fourth quarter.

Three steals by the Tigers led to baskets by Johnson and Summer Dilwood and then two free throws by Buchanan to close the gap to 36-35 with 2:49 to play.

Stephenson hit two of four free throws to extend the lead to 38-35 before Johnson hit the game tying three-pointer.

Buchanan and Johnson both hit for a game-high 12 points to lead Tucker in the win. Kassidy Broussard paced Stephenson with a game-high tying 12 points of her own while Sierra Wynn added 7 points and 13 rebounds.

Stephenson’s Bryce Latimer (right) looks to score against Tucker’s Javon Tatum (left). (Photo by Mark Brock)

(B) Stephenson 51, Tucker 49
Bryce Latimer’s layup at the buzzer sent the Stephenson fans into a frenzy as the No. 6 Jaguars survived losing an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter of a 51-49 Region 4-6A thriller against the Tucker Tigers.

Drevion Evans had a three-pointer and a drive to basket early in the fourth quarter to help the Jaguars build the 47-39 lead with 4:22 to play.

Tucker (12-10, 8-5) then went inside to 6-6 post player Nathaniel Obgu who responded with a pair of dunks and three free throws to make it a one-point (47-46) game with 1:45 to play.

The Jaguars (14-5, 11-1) had a turnover and the Tigers came down and went inside to Obgu again, but he was double-teamed and got the ball out to Nicholas Watson for an open three-pointer that put the Tigers up 49-47 with just under a minute left in the game.

Both teams missed the front ends of the one-plus-one bonus and Stephenson’s Charles Fairchild was fouled with 36.5 and went to the foul line for two shots. Fairchild sank both charity shots to knot the game at 49 all.

The Tigers ran down the clock, but a shot with six seconds left bounced off the rim and up the lane into the hands of Latimer. He split a pair of defenders at the top of key and raced all he way down the floor for a buzzer-beating layup to win the game.

Tucker led 25-17 at the half despite missing 10 free throws. Javon Tatum spurred an 8-2 run to end the half with four points and Josh Vann’s steal sent the Tigers into the half up eight points.

Stephenson hit four three-points, two by Justin Harris, in the third quarter to real off 21 points and take a 38-32 lead into the final quarter of play.

Latimer was the only Jaguar in double figures on the night as he collected 19 points in the win. Obgu had a game-high 20 points to lead Tucker and Javon Tatum added 12.