TULSA — Carl Albert’s hopes went from sky-high to rock bottom in one trip down the floor.
Titan guard Cameron Warren made a 3-pointer to tie the game at 58, Warren’s 37th point of the night. But before Tulsa Kelley even tried to retake the lead, Warren was whistled for his fifth foul with 1:18 to go.
Tulsa Kelley promptly went on an 8-2 run to put the game away, ultimately winning 66-63 in the first round of the Class 5A boys state basketball tournament at the Mabee Center.
“We couldn’t stop Cameron Warren. We talked about making him work for every point that he got, and I think we did. But he can really score,” Kelley coach Danny Limes said. “Luckily we got him in foul trouble. It probably would’ve been a different ending if we hadn’t gotten him in foul trouble. We’re happy we’re advancing.”
Warren single-handedly kept Carl Albert (21-6) in the game with 20 points in the third quarter — the only points the Titans scored in the period. Kelley was in control much of the second half, but Carl Albert slowly clawed its way back into the game.
Ultimately, Kelley was too strong down the stretch, getting 15 points from Josh Limes and 13 from Daniel Smith to advance to Friday’s noon semifinal against No. 1 Bishop McGuinness at the Mabee Center. Four other Kelley players had at least eight points in a balanced attack.
“We’ve got guys who can shoot it,” Danny Limes said. “We shot it pretty good tonight, and shared it, which is what I challenged our guys to do in pregame.”
The Comets (20-8) now must face a familiar foe in McGuinness.
“What an Achilles’ Heel for us,” Danny Limes said. “We just can’t seem to get over the hump with those guys. Our kids have played against each other since middle school. We know each other well. We’ll see what happens.
“We’re gonna show up, though. We’re not gonna concede. We’ve got to shoot the ball well again and play better defense. Hopefully we can do that.”