Class 4A boys basketball: Stephen Clark, Douglass outduel Roland for fourth straight title
There was no reason to think it would be easy.
Very little has been this year for Stephen Clark and the Douglass Trojans, so a fourth consecutive state championship wasn’t going to be.
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Not until Clark scored his 50th and 51st points Saturday afternoon had the second-ranked Trojans sealed up the state championship with an 82-80 win over No. 1 Roland in the Class 4A title game at State Fair Arena.
Playing on a sprained ankle suffered Thursday, and with a stress fracture in his left wrist sustained in early January, Clark made nine 3-pointers and hit 15 of 32 field goals in all, routinely offering an answer for a big Roland bucket.
Clark, an Oklahoma State signee, and Roland’s Seth Youngblood went head-to-head on several occasions. Youngblood, bound for Arkansas-Fort Smith, scored 41, hitting nine 3-pointers of his own, showing range to rival Clark’s.
The Clark-Youngblood duel had the Big House crowd of approximately 7,000 roaring with each deep 3-pointer, each smooth drive to the hoop.
“It was exciting,” said first-year Douglass coach Anthony Andrews. “Just a lot of fun to watch the kids compete.”
As fun as Saturday’s showdown was, it almost didn’t happen.
Last May, after longtime Douglass coach Terry Long left to take the head coaching job at Mustang, Clark began to pursue the possibility of graduating early and enrolling in college.
When the right opportunity didn’t surface, Clark decided to try prep school at Quest Prep in Las Vegas. He spent a month there, but the new school struggled to put its basketball program together.
“This year was a learning experience,” Clark said. “I went off to see if I could handle prep school, but my mom wasn’t feeling it, so I had to come back home, because she knows what’s best for me.”