Slidell holds off Oakwood to reach final

By Reece Waddell | Published Friday, March 8, 2019
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Tied at 44 with under a minute remaining, Slidell’s Slayton Pruett caught an entry pass with an Oakwood defender draped over him.

With one spin, Pruett pivoted toward the rim and laid the ball of the glass to give the

Greyhounds the lead.

“I just did my game and what I do every time,” Pruett said. “Sometimes it goes in, and that one went in. I didn’t shoot very good from the free-throw line at all today. That one just happened to fall.”

After the Panthers missed a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, Slidell looked poised to put the game away. But several missed free throws down the stretch gave Oakwood one last gasp with 5.2 seconds left.

The Panthers’ last shot, a deep contested trey, was off the mark, allowing the Greyhounds to escape with a 47-45 win Thursday in the Class A semifinal at the Alamodome in San Antonio.

Slidell’s Tristyn Talamantes shoots over Oakwood’s Trisdon Bynum during the Class A Thursday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. (Ron Cortes/ Special Contributor)

It is Slidell’s first semifinal win since the Greyhounds won the Class B championship in 1944.
“It’s honoring,” Pruett said. “It’s something we’ve been working [towards] for a long time. Not just now, but generations back. A bunch of people have been trying to do it.”

Slidell will play Jayton at 8:30 a.m. Saturday for the Class A championship.
The Greyhounds overcame 22 turnovers and a rough morning offensively to reach the final. Slidell shot 45 percent at the charity stripe and 18.2 percent from beyond the arc.

“We knew we were going to get some [defensive] pressure,” said Slidell coach Casey Pierce. “But we allowed ourselves to get stuck in quicksand. Every time we tried to get out of our own way, we’d make another mistake and sink a little bit more. Then things started snowballing on us.”

Oakwood turned Slidell’s 22 turnovers into 23 points.

Slidell’s Hunter Horner Tristyn Talamantes walk Slayton Pruett to the foul line late in fourth quarter. (Ron Cortes/ Special Contributor)

The Greyhounds held their largest lead, 10-5, early in the first quarter. Neither side led by more than seven points.

The Panthers went up 21-14 with 4:02 left in the first half, but Slidell made a run to take the lead back going into halftime.

“We had some breakdowns in the scouting report today,” Pierce said. “We can’t do that, obviously. Our half-court defense and rebounding the ball allowed us to get into transition, which throughout the year we’ve been able to execute better than we did today.”

Slidell and Oakwood continued to see-saw back and forth in the final frame until Pruett’s shot gave the Greyhounds the lead for good.

Hunter Horner led the Greyhounds with 15 points. Brock Harwell added 10.

Slidell’s Easton Vanover dives for a lose ball with Oakwood’s Key’Undre Davis. (Ron Cortes/ Special Contributor)

“I was just trying to help out and do what I could,” Horner said. “If I saw it open I was going to go in and try to score for the team.”

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