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BOYS BASKETBALL: Heartbreak for Claremore in NEO Tournament championship loss to Roland

Jan. 23—In a heartbreaking conclusion to a thrilling run, the Claremore boys experienced a heart-wrenching conclusion to their quest for a second-consecutive tournament championship this season.

The Zebras, who led by one after the first quarter and at halftime, faced a resilient Roland squad that found just enough offensive firepower in the third period to clinch a 63-59 victory in the NEO Tournament "Norse" bracket championship game on Saturday night in Miami.

Davhon Hall emerged as the catalyst for the Rangers, scoring 12 crucial points in the pivotal second half and finishing the game with 23 points. Hall's performance, coupled with a flawless 3-for-3 effort at the free-throw line in the fourth quarter, played an important role in securing the championship for the Rangers.

Despite the outcome, Claremore didn't go down without a fight.

The team showcased their sharpshooting prowess, hitting three of their successful 11 3-pointers in the final period. Adam Isenbart knocked down two, while Teegan Mann added one from beyond the arc.

These triples represented the team's sole field goals of the quarter, complemented by a solid 5-of-6 performance at the free-throw line.

Gunner Holm led the Zebras in scoring with 12 points, supported by balanced contributions from Rodgers, Mann and Will Jones, each chipping in nine points. Rex Clark closely followed with eight points.

Despite the team's commendable efforts in the final quarter, Claremore fell short as Roland held its ground and secured the championship.

The loss brought an end to a commendable three-game winning streak for the Zebras, who now stand at 9-6 overall. Looking ahead, they are set to regroup and prepare for a road district matchup Friday against Collinsville, a team that secured a 64-45 victory over Claremore on Jan. 5.

OTHER LOCAL SCORES AT NEO

Thursday

Girls: Claremore 54, Okmulgee 44

Friday

Girls: Nowata 51, Claremore 31

Saturday

Girls: Fairland 36, Claremore 29 (fifth-place game)