TULSA — Edmond Santa Fe was having one of those games. Shots weren’t falling, the other team was hot and even when the Wolves led early in the first half, it still didn’t feel like their day.
Games like that happen sometimes to every team, but this one — a Class 6A semifinal against No. 2 Midwest City — threatened to end Courtney Walker’s high school career.
And she just couldn’t let that happen. Not yet, not like that and not with one of the Wolves’ biggest supporters in the hospital, missing his first action in years.
Down by three points with just under two minutes left in regulation, Walker picked off an inbound pass on her end of the floor, went coast to coast and made a layup while being fouled. She hit the free throw to tie the game — the first time Midwest City didn’t lead since late in the first half — and the defending champion Wolves went on to win 49-46 in overtime to advance to Saturday’s championship game.
Walker, who has signed with Texas A&M and was named Oklahoma’s Gatorade Player of the Year on Thursday, scored 11 of her 23 points Friday in the fourth quarter.
“We’re playing for coach (Paul) Bass’ dad,” Walker said. “He never misses any games and he couldn’t be here.”
Bass’ 86-year old father, Bob, developed pneumonia in his left lung last Saturday and had to be rushed to the emergency room. Doctors initially thought he wouldn’t make it through that night, but he has slowly improved over the past week.
Walker also said the team is playing for fellow senior Daisha Gonzaque’s father, who died on Feb. 13.
Bob Bass had never missed one of his son’s games until Thursday’s semifinal, Paul Bass said.
“The antibiotics are working,” said Paul Bass, who just this year celebrated his 200th win at Edmond Santa Fe.
“According to the doctor, he has a chance to make it. He was mad because he couldn’t go (to the state tournament).”
The Bombers and Wolves traded the lead throughout the first half, but Midwest City took hold of it with 2:37 left before halftime and didn’t lose it until Walker tied the game with her 3-point play.
Midwest City, which lost to Santa Fe in last year’s championship game, finishes its season with a 27-2 record.