Dorshell Clark stood in the a sea of orange fans cheering on her son, Stephen Clark, for his last championship basketball game at the Big House.
“This is probably the biggest place where you can play the state championship. The atmosphere is awesome. The people are awesome. So we’re just excited to be here again for the fourth time.”
On the other side of the court stood Roland fans also dressed in orange in black.
Two small schools from opposite sides of the state. One in the heart of the city, the other near the Arkansas border but both having the same quest for the golden ball at the Big House.
Executive director of the OSSAA, Ed Sheakly, described the Big House as a tradition with generations of families playing at the arena since the late 60s.
“It’s goals that kids and coaches put up when the season begins … from 4A down to Class B is that their goal is that they want to play in the Big House,” said he said.
On Saturday 12 teams traveled to the arena to earn the right to lift the golden ball up.
The Oklahoman’s photo department photographed each game at the arena.
I shot a time-lapse of the event, taking a picture ever 20 secs throughout the morning and night session. This is the combination of the pictures.
The last 14 seconds of the video is the triple overtime game between Millwood and Okemah.
Visit all of a photo galleries from the state tournament here.
— Sarah Phipps