NORMAN — The last two seasons are finally erased for Putnam City. After a pair of disappointing — and shocking — ends to their seasons the last two years, the Pirates are finally back on top.
Putnam City outlasted Jenks 72-48 in a physical Class 6A state championship game Saturday night at Lloyd Noble Center. While Memphis signee Xavier Henry, one of the top high school players in the country, led the Pirates with 24, there was plenty more to this Pirates team than Henry. There was Oklahoma signee Kyle Hardrick, who moved over from Norman for his senior season, pulling down 9 rebounds and coming up with a pair of crucial baskets in the second quarter when the Pirates made their push and took the lead for good. There was Tyler Earls, coming up with 4 steals to help Putnam City force 14 Jenks turnovers. But of course there was Henry, who didn’t turn in his best night but still had 5 rebounds and 4 assists to go with his game-high point total. Henry missed the early part of the season after suffering a broken cheekbone in an automobile accident. After returning, Henry played like a man on a mission to wipe out the memories of his sophomore and junior years. Two years ago, the Pirates were eliminated in the area tournament by rival Putnam North. Last year, Putnam City was upset in the first round by eventual champion Tulsa Memorial after Henry missed a potential game-winner at the buzzer. This wasn’t the first title for the Putnam City seniors, but it was the first that truly belonged to them. The other came in 2006, their freshman year, with Henry already showing flashes of his emerging stardom but Keith Clark leading the way for the Pirates. It was the fourth title in school history.