DEWEY — Drama is the byproduct of overwhelming conflict vs. overpowering desire.
Only one can win.
On Friday night, that one was the Dewey High School boys' basketball team.
Who can explain it?
Dewey trailed at halftime, 30-10. Dewey trailed at the end of the third quarter, 39-23.
Dewey won, 45-44.
It all came down to the final seven-tenths of a second. Dewey guard Jake Laspisa lobbed an inbounds pass to Jacob Mouser in the middle of the paint. Mouser pushed the ball toward the rim. The ball swished through the cords.
The ocean of Dewey students bolted out of their seats as if someone yelled "Shark!" The Dewey players mobbed each other.
The Nowata Ironmen hoopsters could only wonder what happened.
Led in the first half by Kaleb Bashford (11 points) and Jace Thompson (seven points), Nowata appeared to have pinned up the win like a baby's diaper. The Ironmen dropped in three treys and nailed 7-of-8 free throws in the first two quarters to account for most their 30 halftime points.
Dewey, meanwhile, couldn't light an offensive candle with a blowtorch. Only three Doggers scored points in the first half — Mouser wasn't one of them.
As the third quarter started, the second half seemed to be just a waste of time until Nowata officially claimed the win.
Not much happened in the third quarter to change that outlook. By the end of the period, Dewey had managed to peel a small slice off the margin, cutting it to 16 points, 39-23. Laspisa ripped two downtown specials and Bryson Hudson added one trey to account for most of Dewey's scoring in the period.
But, then arrived the fourth quarter — and the astounding uprising by Dewey. Let's cut to the basic fact — Dewey outscored Nowata, 22-5, in the final stanza to pull out the win.
The rally began with Laspisa hitting a runner to narrow the lead to 14, 39-25. Neither team scored again until the 6:16 mark, when Mouser made a lane cut, got the ball, powered in the layup and drew a foul. His free throw made it an 11-point game, 39-28.
TURKEY STUFFING QUIZ: Reflection on current and local historical sports
Nowata then went into a delay game, but turned it over with 5:12 left. A few moments later, Mouser scored on an offensive rebound — and just like that Dewey had pulled within a single digit, 39-30.
Nowata missed a shot on its next possession, but Mouser was called for a charge. However, the Ironmen gave the ball right back on an offensive foul with 4:42 showing.
Two free throws by Mouser with 3:47 left sliced Nowata's lead to seven, 39-32. The Ironmen failed to answer and Dewey received an thrilling major contribution by Tryston Easter, who buried a trey to make it a two-possession game, 39-35. Nowata head coach Nathan Smith then called timeout. There was 2:52 remaining.
So far in the quarter, Dewey had pieced together 12-0 run. A major component of Dewey's rally had been its backcourt pressure to hamper Nowata's effort to advance the ball to halfcourt.
Following the time out, Nowata's James Ewers ran to the middle of the court on a press break and scored an easy layup to elevate Nowata back to a six-point lead, 41-35.
Both teams then traded turnovers in their scrappy, desperate battle to gain an advantage. Dewey gained one when a Nowata player received a technical with 2:16 left. Laspisa made one of the two free throws to lift Dewey back to within four points, 41-37.
A half-minute later, Mouser stole the ball and out-letted it to Laspisa for a layup to make it a two-point thriller, 41-39, with about 1:50 left.
But, Dewey missed a pair of free throws with 1:22 showing, which seemed a setback in the rally. With exactly 1:00 left, Nowata's Skylar Stevens nailed a bucket to increase the gap to four points, 43-39.
Dewey and Nowata then traded free throws.
As the clock wound to less than 20 seconds, Mouser hauled down an offensive rebound, which led to a net-snapping three-pointer by Laspisa to make it a one-point game, 44-43.
After Nowata inbounded the ball, Dewey barely administered a foul, before the player got open past the halfcourt line, with 9.0 seconds left. The Nowata coach argued for an intentional foul, but the officials ruled it a one-and-one.
The Nowata foul shooter missed on the first shot. There was a mighty scrap for the rebound. Dewey finally picked up the ball and went to the other end — only to lose it out of bounds with 1.7 seconds left. Nowata called timeout to set up an inbounds play.
But, on the throw in, Dewey knocked the ball loose and ball bounced off a Nowata player out of bounds.
There was .07 showing on the clock and Dewey behind, 44-43.
Laspisa took the ball out to the right of the backboard. When the whistle blew, he held the ball two or three seconds trying to find someone to get it to. Finally, he lobbed it up to Mouser, who was in the middle of the key. Mouser jumped up — and while his body was going backwards straightway from the hoop, his fingertips connected with the ball and he pushed it up and it exploded through the net for the win.
Laspisa and Mouser scored 20 and 13, respectively, for Dewey.
Thompson finished with 12 for Nowata, followed by Bashford with 11 and Ewers with 10.
Dewey improved to 2-0, one of its best-ever starts for head coach Lance Knight; Nowata fell to 1-1.
Dewey will play this week in the Adair tourney while Nowata hosts its own tourney.
Dewey 45, Nowata 44
Kaleb Bashford 4 3-4 11, Jace Thompson 4 2-2 12, Tucker Collier 1 0-0 3, James Ewers 3 4-6 10, Skylar Stevens 3 1-3 8. Totals: 15 5-10 44.
Brycen Hudson 1 2-2 5, Jake Laspisa 7 2-6 20, Hunter Perrier 1 0-0 3, Jace Williams 0 1-2 1, Jacob Mouser 4 5-9 13, Tryston Easter 1 0-0 3. Totals: 14 10-19 45.
This article originally appeared on Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise: Dewey boys basketball knocks off Nowata at buzzer, 45-44