Fort Gibson’s Allie Glover knew she was going to hit a shot sooner or later.
It just took a little more distance than usual Saturday afternoon at State Fair Arena for the junior.
Glover let loose a 25-foot jumper with three seconds remaining that propelled the top-ranked Tigers past No. 3 Anadarko 50-47 for their second straight Class 4A championship and completed a memorable comeback.
“It was the one that counted,” said Glover, who hit two big 3s in the fourth quarter as Ft. Gibson erased a deficit that reached 16.
The Tigers (30-1) are the first team since 1981 to repeat as champions in Class 4A and first in the 5-on-5 era. They have won three of the last four gold balls and made the championship game seven of the last nine seasons.
“It’s an awesome feeling, especially against Anadarko,” Ft. Gibson’s lone senior Savannah Gray said. “That’s who we lost to my sophomore year. I did not want to go through that again.”
Trailing 27-15 at halftime and 39-23 late in the third, it appeared Ft. Gibson would fall again to the Warriors.
However, junior Desiree Phipps caught fire in the fourth quarter, scoring six points, including the go-ahead shot with 1:25 remaining. After Anadarko’s Ashley Beatty regained the lead with two free throws, Phipps hit another shot from the baseline with 38.2 seconds remaining.
“I was looking to score,” said Phipps, who finished with 17 points. “I was just reading the defense and if they were going to help down I was going to pass it out, but we got an open shot.
“I guess I just got on fire at the right time, too.”
Beatty finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore Tandra King also scored 12 points for the Warriors (26-5).
Anadarko’s Kelsey Schumpert tied the game with a free throw with 13 seconds remaining, setting up one final look for Ft. Gibson. Expecting Phipps to get the ball, the Warriors sagged off Glover and she made them pay.
“We actually were looking to go to Des, but we told them if you got a good look then we’re going to take a good look,” Ft. Gibson coach Jerry Walker said. “They gave her a lot of space and that’s a spot she’s pretty good at shooting.”