Miller’s free throws launch Lions to district semifinals

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With just two seconds left on the clock, and Lone Tree trailing by a single point, Lone Tree’s Harmon Miller stepped to the line and hit two free throws to give the Lions a first-round playoff win.

Miller’s shots capped a wild 73-72 win against Calamus-Wheatland on Thursday night at North Cedar High School.

“We were in those situations all year up one or down one late in the game,” Lone Tree head coach Tom Squiers said. “We executed what I wanted in the end, which was somebody taking it to the basket. Fortunately, we were fouled, and Harmon stepped up and made those free throws.”

Lone Tree jumped out to an early lead, holding the Warriors scoreless for the first four minutes of the game.

By the end of the first period, the Lions led 11-9, and their outside shooting went cold going into the second period.

The Warriors capitalized on that, taking a 15-13 lead less than two minutes into the period.

But the scrappy Lions kept the Warriors from extending their lead.

Late in the period, Keegan Edwards hit a pair of 3-pointers to tie the game at 26. He hit another trey with 25 seconds to go in the half to put Lone Tree back on top.

Cade Patterson connected on another three-pointer with just two seconds left in the half, and the Lions led 32-27 at the buzzer.

Miller caught fire in the third quarter, scoring 13 of his 29 points in that period.

A little more than three minutes into the second half, Lone Tree had opened a 42-31 lead, when Cal-Wheatland called a timeout, slowing the Lions’ momentum.

Heading into the final wild frame, Lone Tree held a 49-39 lead.

The Lions were able to keep the Warriors at bay through most of the period and seemed to be cruising to a win when they led 69-60 with two minutes left in the game.

Cal-Wheatland’s Brady Buchmeyer was fouled while attempting a 3-pointer and proceeded to hit all three free throws.

Another successful Warrior 3-pointer cut the lead to 69-66 with just a minute to go.

Buchmeyer was fouled two more times, hitting all four free throws, knotting the game at 70 all.

Miller missed a go-ahead layup, and the Warriors drove back down the floor and scored, going up 72-70.

With 15 seconds to go, Lone Tree’s Tyler McCullough made one of two free throws.

On the ensuing possession, Buchmeyer was fouled again but missed the front end of a one-and-one, leading to Miller’s final second heroics.

Miller finished the game with 29 points and going four-for-seven from beyond the arc.

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