Duke gets double-overtime upset
CACHE Inside a minute left of the first overtime, Kevin Brown crept closer to half court near the scorer's table, peering across the line.
"Ain't this fun?," the Duke coach sarcastically asked one of his closest friends, Lookeba-Sickles coach Kirk Wilson.
The so-called "fun" only grew for Duke as the 11th-ranked Tigers, spurred by 25 points and several clutch shots from Noah Claussen, outlasted No. 3 Lookeba-Sickles, 74-61 in double overtime to win the Class B Area III championship and book their ticket to the State tournament next weekend.
"I don't even have words for it," Brown said at the encore his Tigers provided after Chatty and Indiahoma's overtime thriller 24 hours earlier. I'm proud of them. They're young, but they've grown up a lot."
It is Duke's second State appearance in three years.
"We just know that we can win," said Claussen, who drained four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter including back-to-back in the final minute to erase a six-point deficit and push the game to overtime. "All the hard work we put in isn't for nothing. We've been dreaming about this opportunity and this moment since we were four feet tall. It means the world to us."
Meanwhile, the Duke girls failed to join the boys as the No. 8 Lady Tigers were routed by No. 3 Hammon, 46-26. Duke gets a second chance Monday night in the Area consolation final against No. 16 Granite, which held off No. 15 Mt. View-Gotebo, 37-30.
As for the Lookeba-Sickles boys, they will draw No. 5 Indiahoma after the Warriors looked sharp in a 61-48 win over Big Pasture.
Duke 74, Lookeba 61 (2 OT) Boys Championship
Trailing by six inside a minute, the outcome looked bleak for Duke (26-3) but Noah Claussen got on a roll as his consecutive triples gave the Tigers new life.
Duke's Dawson Brooks scored all four points in the first overtime but Lookeba said double or nothing.
That's when Claussen decided to hit his third clutch shot of the night. After point guard Matt Milner, who added 17 points, scored a bucket, he threaded the needle with a bounce pass. Claussen collected it and swished the 8-foot baseline jumper from an awkward angle.
"I wasn't really thinking when I shot those. I was just out there to play," Claussen said. "The energy of my teammates helped me build confidence and knowing I practiced for this every day."
Assist Milner. Big bucket Claussen. Game over.
Lookeba-Sickles looked deflated after Claussen's dagger. Just for good measure, Tommy McGee, who scored 13 points, cleaned up a breakaway miss with a putback, giving Duke a 69-61 lead with 1:25 left.
Lookeba-Sickles (23-5) lived by the three, then died by the three as the Panthers went 1 for 11 (9 percent) in the second half and both overtime sessions from downtown. Normally lethal from outside, Lookeba shot a dismal 21 percent from beyond the arc.
Duke got several big stops down the stretch. In the fourth, back-to-back blocks created run outs and Claussen began knocking down 3-pointers. In overtime, they forced a traveling violation in the final seconds. In double overtime, Duke limited Lookeba to a single point.