The Stephen Clark Show played Dallas. Played New Orleans. Played the Big House.
And on Saturday, it went triple-gold.
Douglass junior phenom Stephen Clark had Anadarko defenders back-pedaling and fans' heads shaking as he made shot after shot to lead the top-ranked Trojans to their third consecutive Class 4A basketball state championship with an 86-53 win Saturday night.
Clark made six 3-pointers and finished with 40 points to lead Douglass in front of a packed State Fair Arena, heading to the bench with more than six minutes left to go.
Clark has been the leading scorer on each of the Trojans' three straight titles, but this season has been far more special. With only two returning players from the previous two title teams, Clark found himself playing a more significant leadership role, and his coaches kept pushing him to score.
“This one feels a lot better, because I had to take on a bigger leadership role,” Clark said. “To see these players come out and work this hard, and then we got the ‘W.' We came in immature and I just watched us grow, and that made me feel like we had a chance.”
Coach Terry Long has simple instructions when he wants Clark to push the offense with his scoring ability.
“Our term is ‘Give it to ‘em, however you wanna give it.'” Long said. “The kid's just talented and fearless.
“If he'll lead and those other kids follow, we've got a chance and a shot. We proved it tonight.”
Clark has been giving it to everyone who came along this season.
He had a 42-point game on the opening weekend of the season in November, then dropped 65 and 51 in consecutive games in January. His back-to-back 40-point performances in the semis and finals capped a year that has been nothing less than remarkable.
As he has done at the start of every game in the state tournament, Clark launched a 30-foot bomb on the first possession of the game. He missed, but his confidence never fluttered. He kept shooting, kept driving to the basket, kept playing his game.
He had 29 points at halftime as Douglass exploded to a 50-20 lead. The advantage reached 43 when he walked to the bench early in the fourth quarter. Clark finished 16 of 27 from the floor and 6 of 14 from 3-point range, along with seven assists and five rebounds.
“The coaches told me to be aggressive,” Clark said, “and I was feeling it.”
Anadarko was led by Tyler Melton with 18 points, Randy Martinez with 11 and Sheldon Wilson with 10. The Warriors concluded the season at 27-2, a frustrating end to an otherwise impressive season.
Anadarko couldn't find an answer for Clark, but few teams could. He finished the year averaging 25 points and 11 assists per game in bringing Douglass its sixth state title in school history. But Saturday wasn't necessarily a one-man show.
Junior DeAngelo Smith made five 3-pointers on his way to 17 points, playing a big role in Douglass' early advantage. Senior forward Delondre Williams had 10 points and 12 rebounds as he and Dydrell Post filled the interior that was left empty by last year's senior class.
But Clark was the star. He was the one who the media buzzing, the one who had fans squirming. Everyone in the Big House tensely waited to see what he'd do next.
As for an encore, Clark already knows the theme of next year's show.
“We got (state championship) No. 3. I want to leave Douglass with four,” he said. “So hopefully I can come back next year and we can get another one.”