Edmond Memorial entered Saturday with a home winning streak to protect.
It was far from easy, but the sixth-ranked Bulldogs found a spark in the fourth quarter from senior Trey Sneed that propelled them to a 58-53 victory over No. 18 Putnam North to win the regional championship.
“We just stay together,” Sneed said. “We’re a family, so we know if we’re together we’re not going to lose. That’s really special for me and all of my fellow seniors to never take an ‘L’ on this court”
Memorial (19-3) has not lost since December 2011 at home, an impressive streak that was in jeopardy midway through the fourth quarter.
Sneed then delivered four straight points to regain the lead, 47-46, and ignite a 12-2 run to take control.
“It really started with him in that spurt,” Memorial coach Shane Cowherd said. “It could have been any one of those guys, but it just happened to be Trey.”
Sneed finished with nine points, while sophomore forward Kristian Doolittle added 18 and eight rebounds.
Putnam North (10-15) opened the game strong, jumping to a 12-5 lead before Memorial answered with a 13-0 run to take the lead. The Panthers finally regained the lead with five minutes remaining in the third and led 41-38 entering the fourth after sophomore Micah Speight buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer, a shot that could have been a backbreaker.
Speight was tough to contain, scoring 21 points behind four 3-pointers.
The Bulldogs, however, contained him late and are now one win away from returning to the state tournament to defend their title.
“My team and I have been in that situation before,” Sneed said. “We knew we would come back. It wasn’t that big of a deal. We got kind of down, I’m not going to lie, but we came together.”