MISSION, Ore. - Limited to 33 points through the first three quarters here Saturday night, Nixyaawii exploded for 29 points in the fourth quarter and 16 more in overtime to salvage a 78-71 victory over Echo in a boys Big Sky Conference Eastern Division basketball game.
It was the final game of the regular season for both schools.
With the victory, the Golden Eagles leveled their Big Sky record at 7-7 and improved their final overall mark to 10-14. The district-bound Cougars finished the regular year at 9-5 in league and 15-8 overall.
The game was a contrast between a balanced Echo offense that placed five players in double figures and Nixyaawii's two-pronged attack of Larry Spino and Josh Barkley, who combined for 74 of their team's 78 points.
Spino was 13-for-24 from the floor, including a 4-for-10 mark from beyond the 3-point arc, and 9-for-9 from the free-throw line as he led all scorers with 39 points. But Barkley was right behind, making 12-of-35 shots from the field overall, 6-of-16 from 3-point distance and 5-of-8 from the line for 35 points.
Treve Moffet and Bryan Ibarra led the Cougar attack with 12 points each. CJ Flores tallied 11 points and Esau Ibarra and Jeramy Cisneros contributed 10 points each.
The Golden Eagles trailed 23-22 at halftime and fell behind 42-33 after three quarters before kicking their offense into high gear. They outscored their guests 29-20 in the fourth period to knot the score 62-62 at the end of regulation play and then continued their hot shooting in the extra period by outscoring the Cougars 16-9.
Despite the dramatic comeback against one of the top teams in the East, Nixyaawii fell short of qualifying for district play that begins this week.
Nixyaawii 78, Echo 71
ECHO (71) - Munoz 3, Harris 5, Moffet 12, E. Ibarra 10, Cisneros 10, Flores 11, B. Ibarra 12, Keifer 8.
NIXYAAWII (78) - Barkley 12 5-8 35, Crawford 2 0-4 4, Morning-Owl 0 0-0 0, Spino 13 9-9 39, Bumgarner 0 0-0 0, Totus 0 0-0 0, Gunuelas 0 0-0 0, Welch 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 14-21 78.
Nixyaawii 9 13 11 29 16 - 78
Echo 11 12 19 20 9 - 71