TULSA — As the final seconds ticked off the clock in double overtime, Edmond Memorial guard Aaron Young caught a pass in the right wing.
The senior surveyed the situation and dribbled twice before Bulldogs coach Shane Cowherd leaned forward.
“Take ‘em,” Cowherd told Young, who took a step forward and drilled a buzzer beating 3-pointer to beat Owasso 53-50 and send Edmond Memorial to its third straight Class 6A state championship game.
The Bulldogs (22-2) meet Midwest City or Putnam City — who played late Friday in the other Class 6A semifinal — Saturday at 7:45 p.m.
Young’s fellow seniors — NCAA Division I signees Jordan Woodard and Shaquille Morris — get most of the attention for the Bulldogs, but each missed potential game winners earlier in the game.
Woodard, an Oklahoma signee, got a shot off with about three seconds left in the first overtime, but missed. Morris’ follow bounced off the rim several times before falling out.
Still, Cowherd said at the end of the second overtime, he tried to get the ball in Woodard’s hands.
The main priority, though, was holding onto the ball to ensure the last shot would be Memorial’s, Cowherd said.
Young’s game winner came at the end of a 1:49 possession, during which the Bulldogs played keep away from Owasso defenders.
In total, Edmond Memorial possessed the ball for 3:30 of the second overtime’s four minutes.
“Obviously, the most important thing we wanted was to make sure we had the ball in our hands to dictate what happens,” Cowherd said.
Before the coach green-lit his game winner, Young looked at Woodard, who didn’t have a clear shot.
“We were trying to cycle to make sure Jordan got the touch there,” Cowherd said. “Credit to Aaron. He drilled it.”
Owasso led 24-17 at halftime after Woodard — who finished Friday’s game with only three points — found himself in early foul trouble.
The Bulldogs took a four-point lead late in the fourth quarter, but came up empty on three consecutive possessions, which allowed the Rams to rally.
Morris and senior Tyler Holcomb led the Bulldogs with 15 points apiece; Morris, a Wichita State signee, also grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds
Owasso senior Jaylen Lowe led the Rams with a game-high 22 points.
Young, who averaged over 11 points per game entering the state tournament, scored just eight Friday on 3 of 10 shooting.
“They’d been daring him to shoot it all game,” Cowherd said.
“Usually, he’s a very reliable shooter. He had an off-game tonight, but stuck one really, really big one when it mattered.”