CHOCTAW — Bishop Louie walked into the Tulsa McLain huddle during a timeout with 16.8 seconds left and told coach Cordell Love that he wanted the ball.
Love gave it to his junior guard, and Louie won the game for the Titans with a one-handed floater from 12 feet with 10 seconds left.
Anadarko’s potential game-winning shot bounced off the rim at the buzzer, and McLain held on for a 40-38 victory in the first round of the Class 4A boys state basketball tournament Thursday at Choctaw High School.
“We got to the bench and I looked at coach, and told him this is my time, give me the ball,” Louie said . “He said, ‘Do you want it?’ I said ‘yes, sir.’”
Just before the timeout, McLain tied the game at 38 on a 3-pointer by Bryant Hunt with 20 seconds left, and Nigel Carter stole the ball after Anadarko’s inbounds pass, leading to Love’s timeout.
Out of the timeout, Louie dribbled through a trap and found some space for the game-winning floater.
“He came in the huddle and said he wanted the last shot and he was gonna hit it,” Love said. “He knocked it down, did what he was supposed to do. He’s growing up.”
Louie and Hunt only combined for 10 points all day, but the duo scored five in the final 20 seconds to get the Titans to the semifinals.
Sophomore Keondre Jones led McLain (16-10) with 12 points and Nick Foster added nine. Anadarko got 13 from Shaw and 11 from Galen Satoe. The Warriors concluded the season at 24-4.
Getting to the gym turned out to be as complicated as winning the game Thursday. The team bus hit some traffic coming over from its hotel, which was located near State Fair Arena, and the team walked onto the court for pregame warmups 15 minutes before tipoff. The Titans looked lethargic at times in the first half, and trailed Anadarko virtually all day.
“You could tell at the beginning, but we picked up the intensity level after halftime, after I chewed them out a little bit,” Love said. “It’s our time. It’s my fourth year coaching at McLain, our third year at state. We really think we can get this.”