LOCUST GROVE - After falling behind 18-6 in the first quarter of their district playoff matchup with Locust Grove, the Jay Bulldogs fought their way all the way back, tying the score at 58 on Devon Goddard's steal and layup with 10 seconds left in the game.
Unfortunately, that was enough time for the Pirates' David Stone to break their hearts.
Eschewing a timeout, the Pirates worked the ball inside to post player Robert Shelley. Shelley's hook shot bounced off the rim, but the tipped rebound found Stone wide open at the top of the key, and the senior guard calmly knocked down the game-winner as time expired.
It was the fifth three of the game for Stone, who led Locust Grove (18-5) with 17 points.
Stone's heroics overshadowed the performance of Jay's Stephen Tanner, who dominated the second half with 17 of his game-high 19 points, almost singlehandedly keeping the Bulldogs in the game.
Jay (12-11) trailed 18-8 after the opening quarter, but turned up the defensive heat in the second period, getting within two late in the half before going into the break trailing 28-24.
The second half would get even hotter. The Bulldogs used an 8-1 run, capped by Shai Jones's three from the corner, to take their first lead of the night at 36-35 with 3:30 left in the third.
Justin Bailey would take the lead right back with a three of his own and the Pirates would take a 42-38 lead into the final period.
The Pirates led 45-40 early in the fourth after another Stone three, but Tanner, who sat out the final two minutes of the third after picking up his fourth foul, scored four straight to keep Jay in the game. Tanner later converted on a three-point play to tie the score at 49 with 4:39 left.
But the Bulldogs would find themselves in desperate straits late in the game, trailing 57-52 with 1:30 to play after Bailey bounced a pullup jumper off the rim and in.
Jones responded with a driving layup, followed by Jared Sloan's steal and layup on the ensuing possession.
After Cale Fine made one-of-two free throws, the Bulldogs seemingly blew their chance to force overtime by turning the ball over on their next possession, but Goddard's heroics temporarily saved the day for Jay.
Stone had the final answer from long range, but the Pirates won the game at the free throw line, making 21-of-25 from the stripe for the game. Locust Grove made 15-of-19 in the second half and 9-of-11 in the fourth quarter alone.
By comparison, the Bulldogs went 5-of-9 at the line for the entire game.
Bailey finished with 15 points for the Pirates, while Fine and Robert Shelley had 11 each.
Sloan finished nine points for Jay, while Buzzard added eight points and seven rebounds.
The Pirates will await the winner of tonight's Muldrow-Inola matchup in next week's regional semifinals in Inola. The Bulldogs will meet the loser in the consolation round, also at Inola.