TULSA — Tre Payne is only a sophomore, but he has as much state tournament experience as any of the Putnam City players.
That's why he was on the court in the final minute of overtime in Friday morning's Class 6A semifinal. That, and defense.
Payne came up with a steal and fast-break layup with 12 seconds left in the extra period to seal the Pirates 48-42 win over No. 1 Edmond Santa Fe at Oral Roberts University's Mabee Center.
The win guarantees third-ranked PC (24-4) a chance to defend its state title, either in the Pirates' first meeting of the season against No. 5 Midwest City, or their fifth against rival Putnam City West.
The Bombers and Patriots meet in the other 6A semifinal at noon Friday, with the winner facing PC for the gold ball Saturday at 8:45 p.m.
The Pirates got contributions from several players on both ends, but it was Payne's swipe of a Josh Richardson pass that saved the drama of a final shot.
"If you leave a ball in the air too long, Tre Payne's gonna go get it," PC coach A.D. Burtschi said.
Payne had seven points, all after halftime.
"I didn't think I was gonna get it," Payne said of the steal. "I really wasn't worried about scoring. I was gonna bring it out and kill time, but coach said if you've got a layup, go ahead and take it."
PC's RonQuis Lewis got a rebound and made two free throws in the final seconds to finish with 11 points. Dominique Raney had 11 for the Pirates as well, though he got away with an obvious double-dribble that wasn't called in the final minute of overtime, enabling Willie Lester to get fouled and make two free throws.
Mahlon Jones led Santa Fe with 18 points and Richardson finished with 16 as the Wolves concluded their season at 23-5.High school basketball tournament coverage sponsored by United Supermarkets.