Harvesters knock off Borger in 2OT classic

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The Pampa Harvesters (1-4) hosted the Borger Bulldogs on Tuesday evening to wrap up their first round of District 4-4A action.

As a way to commemorate the 30th Anniversary 1990-91 team and the 25th Anniversary of the 1996 State Championship, legendary Pampa coach Robert Hale was in attendance for the game and spoke before pre-game warm-ups and during halftime. 

It is only fitting that with Hale in attendance, the Harvesters went to double-overtime, just as Hale’s 1990-91 squad went to triple-overtime against Alamo Heights in their 80-77 loss in the state semi-finals.

Unlike that 90s squad, the Harvesters edged out the Bulldogs with a 65-69 victory. Head Coach Braydon Barker is hoping this could be a big momentum turn for the Harvesters’ season.

“I think it could be a big momentum-shifter for our season, really,” Barker said. 

“We had been struggling and lost close games we had led. We had led for a long time in a majority of those district losses. We got down by five in overtime in this game, but they (Pampa) showed toughness, heart and determination to come back. I think that’s going to be something we can build on. It was a good atmosphere, loud both ways and I think it’ll give us some momentum going into Perryton.”

The Harvesters opened the game with baskets from juniors Cason Floyd and Hunter Nichols to tie the game 4-4. The Harvesters went on a 9-3 run with threes from sophomore Huston Skinner and Floyd followed by a traditional-three-point-play from junior Troy Perez to make it 13-7 Pampa.

Senior Sean Jensen added a basket followed by Floyd going 2-2 from the free throw line to make it 17-11 after one.

The Bulldogs started coming back before Perez added a three and senior Brandon Jiminez went 2-2 in free throws to make it 25-20. The Harvesters added a pair of free throws before the end of the half to make it 27-24.

Nichols and Floyd added buckets right out of the gate in the third quarter to take a seven-point lead early in the quarter.  

Perez added a three and a basket to make it a nine-point 36-27 lead. Floyd added a traditional-three-point-play to give Pampa a 39-31 with 1:22 left in third quarter.

“He (Cason Floyd) had been sick a couple of days but I think he was drained and he didn’t shoot well in the first half on his wide-open looks,” Barker said. 

“But in the second half he caught fire and got us going. We had an eight-point lead in the third quarter. We just need to watch some film, see how they climbed back into it. They had some deep, NBA threes that were way out there, props to them for making those. He (Cason) played awesome tonight, had some awesome defense and all-around just a good game.”

The teams were locked in a defensive battle in the fourth quarter as Pampa had points from Floyd, Jensen and Nichols, but Borger eventually out-scored Pampa and they went to overtime tied 46-46. 

Borger took a three-point lead early in overtime before Nichols had a bucket and a free throw to keep it a one-score game. Senior Jake Thomas hit a basket to keep it a three-point game, which Borger answered to keep it a five-point lead. Floyd added a three to make it 56-54 before a foul on Floyd set up the one-and-one. Floyd missed the needed first shot before Thomas rebounded and made the lay-up to send it to double-overtime.

“We shoot a lot of free throws and pressure free throws,” Barker said. “In front of a crowd like that to step up and make them? Those are big. That just shows their heart and their effort. They didn’t get rattled or get down.

Borger took the early 59-56 lead in overtime before Floyd went 2-2 from the line to pull within a point. Perez hit a three to give Pampa the 61-59 lead. Thomas and Floyd each added baskets and Pampa went on to win 65-59.

The Harvesters will return to action at Perryton on Friday. Game-time is about 7:30 p.m.

“They’re a good team. They are solid, defensively. They can shoot it well,” Barker said. “It’s always a tough place to play. I’m just hoping this game (vs. Borger) can propel us. We’ve beat some good teams this year. We just hadn’t won in District. We just need to get that winning taste in our mouth and I hope we can build on tonight’s performance.”

Unofficial stats

Cason Floyd led the team in scoring with 21 points with three treys and was 7-8 in free throws; Troy Perez had 17 points with three threes and was 3-4 in free throws; Hunter Nichols had nine points and was 1-3 in free throws; Sean Jensen had six points; Jake Thomas had four points and was 2-2 in free throws; Huston Skinner had three points off a trey; Brandon Jiminez went 2-2 in free throws and Hunter Dyer went 1-2 in free throws. 

As a team Pampa shot 16-21 (76 percent) in free throws.

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