TULSA — Kelsee Grovey was sick of the game being so close.
From midway through the second quarter until almost the end of the third, neither team could get a bigger lead than two points. But Grovey ended the third quarter with two steals and two coast-to-coast layups to give Shawnee a five-point lead entering the fourth.
The game never got as comfortable as Grovey would have liked, but the momentum carried Shawnee to a 45-41 win and its first-ever girls’ basketball state championship.
“I was just trying to get the lead,” Grovey said. “I had to do something to help my team get the lead, and if that means playing defense, then I’ll do that.”
She did much more than just play defense Saturday. Grovey also led the Wolves (29-0) with 21 points and grabbed four rebounds.
Her future college coach, Tulsa’s Matilda Mossman, was in attendance and left excited by what she saw.
“She’s a stud,” Mossman said of Grovey. “She’s capable of taking over a game, and I think when the game is close like that you want the ball in her hands and she comes through for you.”
Shawnee made its first-ever state tournament last season, losing to eventual state champion Bishop McGuinness in the semifinals. This year, the Wolves finished the job with their immense talent.
Senior forward Taylor Cooper, an Oral Roberts signee who won the state championship on her future college floor, scored 8 points and grabbed 6 rebounds Saturday.