CUSHING – The can’t-miss Tigers made senior night memorable. With 2 seconds left and the score tied at 63 in Friday’s final home game against Cleveland, Caleb Tull flashed his hands in front of Slah Guerrero near Cushing’s bench and caught the inbound pass. Coach Jontue Ezell had drawn up a plan, and there was no time to think, just act. Slipping past his defender and leaping to dodge another, Tull – a senior – flicked a 3-point-shot off the backboard and watched as he floated down. It banked in. With a buzzer-beating 3-pointer in his final home game, Tull lifted Cushing to a 66-63 victory and sealed its fourth win in the last five games. No doubt shocked, a handful of Cleveland’s players started arguments in front of Cushing’s bench, forcing Ezell to break up a scuffle after the winning shot.
The Tigers have two dates left on the regular-season schedule and an 8-10 record overall. Districts begin Friday, Feb. 15. Before then, Cushing will travel to 3A’s 17th-ranked Sperry Pirates on Saturday, Feb. 9, and then to Berryhill (10-12) Feb. 12. Friday marked the boys’ highest-scoring game, as well. Their previous best was a 61-51 victory against Jones on Jan. 26.
On Tuesday, Cushing rallied to a convincing, 51-27 win against Perkins-Tryon.
Cushing 38, Cleveland 28
Again by the skin of their teeth, Cushing’s girls pushed through a miry win Friday night. They defeated a 10-win, 12-loss Cleveland team 38-28 as they continued a patient march toward playoffs. The Lady Tigers are 14-7 and just outside state rankings. Their five-game win streak at the end of December and beginning of January is their longest, but they have not lost consecutive games since the second week of the season.
Boys’ Box Score
CUSHING 66, CLEVELAND 63
Cushing (8-10): Tull 17, Guerrero 14, Hurst 9, Moyer 9, Melson 7, Ailey 7, Crooks 3.Cleveland (10-11): Cline 19, Edwards 19, Kruk 10, Baker 9, Seemore 6.