Edmond Santa Fe has played with heavy hearts for the last month.
On Feb. 13, senior Daisha Gonzaque's father died. Then last Saturday, coach Paul Bass' father, Bob, who hasn't missed a game since his son has been the Wolves' coach, was rushed to the hospital with pneumonia in his left lung.
“It means so much that we could do this for my dad and for coach Bass' dad,” Gonzaque said after the Wolves beat Edmond Memorial 44-41 for the Class 6A state championship Saturday. “It means more than we could ask for. I know he's looking down on us, and maybe he helped us out a little bit there at the end.”
Bob Bass has spent the last week in the Intensive Care Unit at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City, but was moved to a regular room Saturday, just in time to watch the Wolves' 44-41 win over Edmond Memorial in the championship game on television.
“He's gonna be happy when I bring that gold ball into his room in the hospital,” Paul Bass said.
FOUR SCHOOLS DOUBLE UP
Four teams had both their boys and girls teams in championship games Saturday, tying a state tournament record.
Anadarko, Edmond Memorial, Northeast and Tulsa East Central had both of their teams playing in championship games.
The only other time that has happened came in 1991 when Eagletown, Millwood, Okmulgee and Star Spencer each had teams in the finals.
That year, only Millwood's boys, Okmulgee's girls and Star Spencer's girls won titles of the group.
With this year's group, at least one school has sent both of its teams to the championship in each of the last 12 seasons. The last teams to sweep basketball championships in a class was Pawnee and Preston, which accomplished the feats in 2009.
INJURED RAMIREZ WATCHES WITH PRIDE
Shawnee's Caitlyn Ramirez entered her senior season with high expectations, but tore her ACL before the first game.
Ramirez, who signed with Tulsa in November, watched the Wolves go unbeaten and win the Class 5A championship with a 44-41 victory over Tulsa East Central on Saturday.
“It's definitely been a roller coaster for me,” Ramirez said of the season. “It was really frustrating, but I believed in them the whole time. I'm very proud of them.”
Tulsa coach Matilda Mossman, who watched Saturday's game, said she thinks Ramirez's injury will make her even more hungry to get started next season at TU.
“I think sometimes having to sit and watch like that makes you hungry,” Mossman said. “Her next game will hopefully be for the University of Tulsa.”
IRISH GET IT DONE
McGuinness coach Tondrell Durham had a calm about him early Saturday morning before his Irish took on Tulsa East Central for the Class 5A title.
Durham woke around 5 a.m. and decided to take a walk around the Oral Roberts campus.
“I got a little walk in and thought about what it was going to be like to take a gold ball back to McGuinness,” Durham said.
His team responded, giving McGuinness its ninth title with a 54-41 win over the Cardinals.
McGuinness' motto for the season was “unfinished business” after missing the state tournament last year and finishing as runner-up in each of the two previous seasons.
“I've got two silver medals hanging up in my room,” Irish senior Joe Edmonds said. “This is how I wanted to go out.”
For Durham, it just adds to the collection of gold balls he's brought back to McGuinness.
It was the fifth title for the Irish since Durham took over in 2001.
MEMORIAL GIRLS PLAYED TOUGH SCHEDULE
Edmond Memorial finished its season with a 22-6 record. The six losses were three times to Edmond Santa Fe, twice to Midwest City and once to Shawnee.
“It'll take a little bit (to appreciate the season),” said Edmond Memorial coach Dandy Peeler. “We had to play the toughest competition to get here. I'm extremely proud of these girls.”
TOURNAMENT BIDS OPEN
After three seasons at Oral Roberts' Mabee Center, the Class 6A and 5A state tournaments will open up for bid again in the coming months.
“It's open to whoever wants to host it,” the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association's Mike Whaley said.
Before coming to the Tulsa area in 2009, the tournament had most recently been held at OU's Lloyd Noble Center and Chesapeake Arena.
ACADEMIC CHAMPIONS HONORED
During halftime of the Class 5A boys championship game, the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association honored the academic state champions for Class 6A and 5A.
In 6A, Choctaw's boys and Bartlesville's girls were honored. In Class 5A, Coweta's boys and Tulsa Kelley's girls earned state titles.