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Buna rallies to sink Bobcats, 49-48

ORANGEFIELD – The Orangefield Bobcats let one slip from their grasp Tuesday night as the Buna Cougars snatched an important 49-48 District 22-3A road win at Bobcat Gym.

The Bobcats (18-16, 7-5) looked as if they had control of the long time rivalry game, leading by as much as 40-31 with a little less than six minutes remaining. However, the Cougars (13-12, 8-4) had other things on their mind as they finished the game off with a 18-8 run to stun the Bobcats.

The win pushes the Cougars to the third-place playoff position with two regular season games left while the Bobcats are holding on to the fourth spot.

Kyler Stark and Garrett Estridge combined for 11 points in the fourth quarter to spark the Cougar run and Karson Goldman sank key free-throws down the stretch.

Goldman put the Cougars up 49-48 with a pair of free-throws with 0:31 left.

Orangefield guard Payton Wrinkle had a good look at a game-winning three-pointer as time expired but it rattled off the rim and barely missed.

The Bobcats grabbed their nice 40-31 lead on a three-point missile by sharp-shooter Coy Bryant as they looked to have snagged away all of the momentum but key turnovers and tough shots in the final five minutes hampered Orangefield.

Bryant finished with a game-high 16 points. Wrinkle had eight points. Bryce Bergeron tallied seven points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Kaiden DuBose had seven points and six boards and Clayson Choate had five boards and six steals.

Estridge and Blaine Marks scored 10 points apiece to pace the Cougars. Stark had eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds while Goldman and Keegan Curry each scored eight points.

The Bobcats led 11-6 at the end of the first quarter and Buna cut it to one, 26-25, at the half.

Orangefield held a 34-31 lead going to the fourth and went on a 6-0 spurt to start the last eight minutes.

The Bobcats finished with a 29-24 rebounding edge. Orangefield committed 21 turnovers while the Cougars had 17. The Cougars were 11-of-17 from the free-throw line while the Bobcats made 8-of-13.

The Bobcats will look to regroup Friday when they visit Hardin to face the Hornets.