LANSING | Oak Glen jumped out to an 8-0 lead midway through the second quarter of the Lansing Roundball Classic championship game against Coolidge, Feb. 20 at Memorial Junior High School.
But Oak Glen coach Lindsay Garcia knew it wasn't a knockout punch.
"I knew it would end up being close," she said. "Most of our games have been that way."
Coolidge went on to tighten the screws defensively, causing several open-court turnovers which helped jump-start its stalled offense.
With less than a minute remaining in regulation, the Cougars took their first lead of the game (14-13) on a baseline jumper by Antonio Basey, before Grizzly guard Kyheim Schooler split a pair at the free-throw line to eventually force overtime.
In the added period, Oak Glen went on an 8-1 run to win the fifth-annual fifth-grade boys basketball tournament, 22-15.
"We played them five times this year, and they've beaten us three times, including once in overtime," said Garcia, who teaches kindergarten at Oak Glen and has been the fifth-grade boys basketball coach there since the Roundball Classic's inception.
The Grizzlies won the tournament before two years ago.
"(Coolidge) was our district league champion and we came in second," Garcia said. "For this, we switched to a box-and-one to try to contain No. 40 (pivot-man Jaiden Tabor)."
Tabor led the Cougars with five points and was well into double-figures in rebounds.
Schooler and Christian Smith each had eight points to lead the Grizzlies.
Schooler and Basey were their teams' respective MVPs for the championship game.
In the Hot Shot competition, Paige Drewno of St. Ann bested Nina Verhagen of Lansing Christian, 22-12.
Coolidge won the Classic's "Food Drive" for the most amount of nonperishable food items collected for the Lansing Food Pantry.
Reavis won the Classic's inaugural "James 'Ray' Shrader Sportsmanship Award" in memory of Memorial's former principal who died May 28.
Proceeds from the tourney were donated to Lansing Meals on Wheels, Lansing Association for Retarded Citizens and the Family Giving Fund.