Jan. 20—The Bulldogs weren't going to back down.
Crowder and Savanna squared off Saturday in the 2024 Pitt 8 Conference Tournament third-place game at the Southeast Expo Center in McAlester, where the Bulldogs used a second-half run on the way to a 44-29 win.
Jeffrie Byington got the Demons on the board first, with Austin Motley swishing a long-range triple on the way to an early lead. But Ashton Bogard answered with a three of his own to tie up the game at 5-5.
Savanna rattled off a run, with Tracyn Eldridge later nabbing a shot to put the Bulldogs up by five. Byington answered with a bucket for the Demons, but Savanna punched right back with a pair of foul shots from Chants Leflore on the way to a 12-7 Bulldog lead heading into the second quarter.
Logan Anderson posted up for a shot to get Crowder going in the next period, with Bogard earning a layup on the other end to answer for Savanna. Daniel Ellis and Anderson hit back-to-back buckets, pulling the Demons back within a points with 5:29 left in the half.
The Bulldogs and Demons battled down the stretch, with an Eldridge dunk capping a Savanna run on the way to a 23-17 lead at the locker room break.
Kinyon Burge drilled a triple to start the second half for the Bulldogs, and Bogard added a pair of free throws to extend the Savanna lead to 11. That sparked another Bulldog run, with Savanna leading 36-18 after three quarters.
Both teams fought to the end, but it'd be the Bulldogs taking the win and third-place honors.
Bogard led the Bulldogs with 16 points, followed by Eldridge with 15 points, Leflore with six points, Burge with five points, and Anthony Reagan with two points.
Byington led the Demons with eight points, followed by Anderson with seven points, Motley and Ellis with six points each, and Johnatthan Lizik with two points.
CANADIAN 47, PITTSBURG 45 (Consolation championship)
Fans stood excitedly on their feet as they willed their teams to the final horn.
Pittsburg and Canadian battled Saturday in the 2024 Pitt 8 Conference Tournament consolation final at the Southeast Expo Center in McAlester, where the Cougars held off the Panthers 47-45 to be named consolation champions.
After trading free throws to start the game, Bryson Buie drilled a three to give Canadian a 5-1 lead. AJ Tabb followed on the next trip down the floor with a smooth euro step, sinking his score to keep the Cougars moving forward.
Jaden Rogers rattled in a hard-earned shot to continue the run, but Garrett Wood nabbed a shot for Pittsburg to make it an 11-3 Canadian lead after the opening quarter.
Will Caudill got the Panthers going to start the second period, but Rogers answered with a long-range swishing three to spark the Cougars once again. Caudill responded with another swirling jumper, as the Panthers looked to cut into the lead.
Wood drove in to float in a basket, helping trim the deficit to seven. The two teams began trading shots and possessions as Pittsburg called a timeout with 2:02 to play and Canadian leading 20-13. Wood then drilled a trey, pulling the Panthers within four points.
Pittsburg had the last possession, with Shaedyn Wilcox sinking a baseline jumper at the buzzer to make it a 20-18 Canadian lead at the halftime break.
Rogers posted up for a baseline score to start the second half, but Wood answered with a triple to cut the Canadian lead to one. Wood followed with a scoop and score, putting the Panthers out in front.
Tabb sparked a run for the Cougars, drilling five quick points to push Canadian back in front. The Panthers answered with one of their own behind Wood to tie up the game with under a minute to play — but the Cougars punched right back to take a 33-29 lead after three quarters.
The Canadian hot streak continued into the fourth period. The Panthers battled and pulled the score within a single point with 12.6 remaining. Pittsburg would be forced to foul, sending Rogers to the line — with Rogers hitting the back end to help seal away the win.
Rogers led the way for the Cougars with 29 points, followed by Tabb with 11 points, Buie with five points, and Adden Smitherman with two points.
Wood led the Panthers with 26 points, followed by Caudill with six points, Wilcox with five points, Kolby Sharp with four points, and Landon Patterson with two points.
Here is the complete 2024 Pitt 8 Conference Tournament boys bracket:
B1: Kiowa 68, Indianola 16
B2: Crowder 78, Canadian 38
B3: Stuart 57, Pittsburg 39
B4: Savanna 66, Haileyville 35
B5: Kiowa 57, Crowder 39
B6: Stuart 44, Savanna 29
B7: Canadian 53, Indianola 35
B8: Pittsburg 44, Haileyville 42
B9: Canadian 47, Pittsburg 45 (Consolation championship)
B10: Savanna 44, Crowder 29 (Third place)
B11: Kiowa vs. Stuart, 7:30 p.m. (Championship)
This post will be updated following the conclusion of Saturday's games.