Allen Tune opened his arms and wrapped his son Tyler in a bear hug.
Together, they laughed and smiled and celebrated.
You have to understand — neither the coach father nor the star son show emotion on the basketball court. Stone faced, they are. So to be so jubilant on the State Fair Arena court was fairly out of character.
Then again, you don't win a high school state title every day.
Arnett and the Tunes did just that Saturday night, beating Coyle 71-60 and staking their claim as the best in Class B.
“That's all I wanted through my high school career was to win one with my dad,” Tyler said.
On a day when winning a state championship was sweet regardless of the circumstances, this one was just a little more sugary.
It started out sour. Arnett found itself in a 21-point hole early in the second quarter. Everything that Coyle did was working. Working the ball inside. Shooting from deep. Getting out in transition. Arnett had no answer for any of it.
Worse, Tune wasn't scoring.
The 6-foot-2 junior is Arnett's leading scorer, pouring in nearly 27 points a game, but in the first half, he missed jumpers and layups and even free throws. He had eight points at halftime, but if Arnett was going to make a game of it, the Wildcats needed more.
In the second half, he gave it to them.
Tune scored 31 points after halftime, and most of them came when he had four fouls. He picked up his fourth midway through the third quarter, a scary flashback to last year's title game when Arnett got in foul trouble, never recovered and got blown out by Forgan.
“You've got to stay in there,” the father told the son. “If they score, they score.”
Tyler never picked up another foul, but he didn't exactly pack it in defensively. He took two charges after picking up No. 4.
Had those calls gone the other way, it's safe to say this game would've gone the other way. How else to weigh how important Tune was?
His final stats — 39 points and 21 rebounds.
“I could care less about how much I scored,” Tyler said. “I'm just glad we won.”
Thing is, he had to score a bunch for Arnett to win.
Coming out of halftime, Arnett decided to push the ball. The team runs and passes well in transition, and even better, that tends to open the floor for Tyler.
The formula worked as Coyle rarely doubled Tyler.
“In the first half, they did,” Allen said of Coyle double teaming Tyler. “In the second half, they didn't double over but we ran him off the outside. That got him one-on-one in the post.”
Tyler was at his best when Arnett needed him most. With Arnett trailing by one at the start of the fourth quarter, he scored 18 of its next 20 points. When all was said and done, he scored or assisted on 22 of Arnett's 26 points in the definitive fourth quarter.
“Fantastic,” the father said of the son's performance.
And when the game was decided and only a few meaningless free throws had yet to be shot, Tyler ran to the bench for that hug with his dad. Tyler had seen his brother come close to a state title when he was playing for their dad at Fargo, but they only ever made it as far as the state semifinals.
To make the finals and win?
To have that hug?
“I almost teared up,” Tyler said.
“I actually did a little bit.”
No shame in that. It looked like dad might've had something in his eye, too.
Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.