The Stephen Clark Show played Dallas. Played New Orleans. Played the Big House.
And on Saturday, it went triple-gold.
Douglass junior phenom Stephen Clark had Anadarko defenders back-pedaling and fans' heads shaking as he made shot after shot to lead the top-ranked Trojans to their third consecutive Class 4A basketball state championship with an 86-53 win Saturday night.
Clark made six 3-pointers and finished with 40 points to lead Douglass in front of a packed State Fair Arena, heading to the bench with more than six minutes left to go.
Clark has been the leading scorer on each of the Trojans' three straight titles, but this season has been far more special. With only two returning players from the previous two title teams, Clark found himself playing a more significant leadership role, and his coaches kept pushing him to score.
“This one feels a lot better, because I had to take on a bigger leadership role,” Clark said. “To see these players come out and work this hard, and then we got the ‘W.' We came in immature and I just watched us grow, and that made me feel like we had a chance.”
Coach Terry Long has simple instructions when he wants Clark to push the offense with his scoring ability.
“Our term is ‘Give it to ‘em, however you wanna give it.'” Long said. “The kid's just talented and fearless.
“If he'll lead and those other kids follow, we've got a chance and a shot. We proved it tonight.”
Clark has been giving it to everyone who came along this season.
He had a 42-point game on the opening weekend of the season in November, then dropped 65 and 51 in consecutive games in January. His back-to-back 40-point performances in the semis and finals capped a year that has been nothing less than remarkable.
As he has done at the start of every game in the state tournament, Clark launched a 30-foot bomb on the first possession of the game. He missed, but his confidence never fluttered. He kept shooting, kept driving to the basket, kept playing his game.