Broken Arrow junior forward Taylor Jones hadn’t played much at all through the Tigers’ first two state tournament games, but coach Mike Hughes saw a matchup advantage with Jones in Saturday’s state title game against Edmond Santa Fe.
She played 12 minutes and hit all three of her field-goal attempts, added three free throws and grabbed three rebounds, finishing with nine points in the unbeaten Tigers’ 70-51 victory.
“It’s a good matchup, so I just had to go out there ready to play,” Jones said. “I knew that when I came in, I had to make a difference, whether it be rebounding, whether it be scoring, just any way that I could, I had to make a difference because it’s a state game.
“I just had to take care of business.”
DEER CREEK EXPLOSION
Deer Creek has long produced talented athletic programs, dating back to the school’s first state championship in 1966 in girls basketball.
But the school’s real athletic explosion has been much more recent.
The girls basketball title the Antlers won on Saturday at the Mabee Center was the school’s 29th title in all OSSAA sports. Nineteen of them have been won in the last nine years, and 15 have been won since 2009.
PC WEST’S JERSEY JUMBLE
Putnam City West senior Travon Moore was back in his usual No. 15 jersey with the Patriots wearing gold uniforms for Saturday night’s title game.
When the Patriots wore their Carolina blue jerseys on Friday night, Moore had to wear jersey No. 30.
Moore had a simple explanation when asked about the number change.
“They didn’t pack my jersey,” he said with a laugh.
LIENHARD PLAYS BIG FOR IRISH
Bishop McGuinness junior Will Lienhard scored 19 points in the Irish’s championship game loss to Tulsa Memorial, while also grabbing seven rebounds and blocking five shots.
Lienhard, though successful at regularly pushing his way into the lane with the ball, missed several layup attempts and finished 7-of-20 from the field.
“It happens,” said Irish coach Tondrell Durham. “He’s a junior. He’s coming back next year. He’s got plenty of basketball left.”
LEE’S REMARKABLE CAREER AT SANTA FE ENDS
Edmond Santa Fe senior and leading scorer Tamara Lee’s high school career ended with a 16-point performance in the Wolves’ Class 6A title game loss to Broken Arrow.
Lee will continue her playing career at the University of Denver.
“Tamara Lee was a part of two gold balls, and now her senior year, she’s got two golds and a silver, and that’s pretty phenomenal, in 6A especially,” said Santa Fe coach Paul Bass. “She’s been the heart of this program for a long time.”
Edmond Santa Fe has played in three state championship games in the last four seasons, and despite losing Lee next year, Bass said he expects to be back in the 2015 state tournament.
“We’ve got a lot of young talent, we’ve got talent coming in, and we expect to come back every year,” Bass said. “That’s just how we work.”