MOORE — From beginning to end, Dale senior Breck Clark left her mark in Thursday's game against Tonkawa.
Clark, who led all scorers with 25 points, shot the first and last baskets of the game in her team’s 34-32 victory against Tonkawa in the first round of the Class 2A girls basketball state tournament at Westmoore High School. Her most lasting mark, though, was the final two free throws she made to win the game so she could make it to “The Big House” at the State Fairgrounds. Dale will face the Colbert-Alva winner at 6 p.m. Friday.
As she stood in the back row of a photo in the postgame locker room celebration, Clark yelled “Big House” in place of “cheese.”
And the excitement of reaching the Big House continued when Dale coach Josh Forsythe walked into his locker room.
“Whoa,” the team said as they leaned back on their stools and laughed.
“Tomorrow we’re going somewhere,” he shouted. “It’s called the Big House.”
But his team’s trip to the next round was almost halted with less than a minute left in the game.
Both teams struggled to make shots early on, but Dale got out to an 11-3 lead. Still, early in the second quarter, they combined for eight empty possessions.
Tonkawa didn’t earn its first lead until 6:15 remained in the third quarter when junior Omega Reese lofted a 3-pointer from the left side of the arc. The score was 15-13. Reese led Tonkawa with 13 points.
But as soon as Tonkawa made one big shot, Dale — and specifically Clark — answered back. The senior hit a jumper. After the next 3-pointer Reese hit more than two minutes later, Clark answered with back-to-back baskets and then a pair of free throws.