No. 16 Catoosa overcame a 13-point deficit behind a combined 52-point effort from senior Greyson Lewallen and junior Titus Miller to defeat No. 7 Victory Christian 71-64 in the Port City Classic semifinal Friday night.
Lewallen led all scorers with 28 points, including 13 during the fourth quarter of Catoosa’s comeback bid — but he entered the game on a four-game slump. He shot 1-13 from the field against Sand Springs on Thursday.
“The last four games, he’s been shooting like 18% from 3,” Drake said. “Yesterday, he subbed himself out. He was like, ‘Give me one. I suck.’”
For Lewallen’s shooting woes, Drake prescribed the senior point guard 400 made 3-pointers Friday morning.
“I said, ‘We’re getting you out of this slump. I need 400 made 3s,’ Drake said. “And then he got going.”
Lewallen scored 9 of Catoosa’s first 12, but the Indians fell behind as Victory closed the first quarter on a 5-0 run.
The run continued until the Conquerors accrued a 49-36 lead midway through the third quarter.
Miller scored 9 third-quarter points to keep the Indians in the game. They clawed back to a 5-point deficit to end the period.
Then Lewallen continued on the rampage he paused after the first quarter; he hit a shot to put the Indians down two, then another to take the lead.
“I don’t think we would’ve won without him (Lewallen),” Miller said. “He’s our definitely our biggest leader. When he’s shooting good, our whole team is hype, our whole team is playing good. It was really what we needed from him.”
The Indians closed the game on a 20-point swing. With seconds remaining and a desperate Victory team bringing the ball up the floor, Lewallen intercepted a pass near mid-court, drove to the rim and tossed a lob off the glass to Miller, who closed the win with the emphatic two-handed slam.
“I actually thought he was going to go and try to dunk it,” Miller said.
“I saw him coming, and he started pointing up, and I was like I gotta give it to him,” Lewallen said. “I feel like that’s the perfect way to close out the game.
The Indians advance to the 57th Port City Classic championship at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. It will be Catoosa’s first appearance in the tournament championship since 1996. The team has never won.
“It would be awesome (to win),” Lewallen said. “I would love to do that. I feel like that would be something that would make history.”
The Indians will play the winner of Edison/Bishop Kelley for the title.