TULSA — After Edmond Santa Fe fell to Tulsa Washington, 72-70, in the Class 6A semifinals Friday, Wolves coach Paul Bass leaned against the wall outside his team’s locker room and let out a sigh.
“It’s a loss we don’t see very often,” Bass said. “Trying to win three in a row is probably the hardest thing we’ve done since I’ve been here.”
The Wolves came into the tournament having won two straight championships and carrying a 77-2 record over the past three seasons.
But they couldn’t claim a third despite a mostly dominant regular season that seemingly had Santa Fe lined up for yet another title.
Instead, it’ll be Tulsa Washington playing for a championship for the first time since winning their second consecutive in 2009.
The Lady Hornets (26-2) will play Bixby at noon Saturday for the title.
Despite an up and down first three-and-a-half quarters, the Lady Wolves seemed poised to advance after leading by seven early in the fourth.
But Tulsa Washington, down four, reeled off 10 consecutive points to take the lead for what proved to be the final time.
“It was our defense,” Tulsa Washington’s Rachel Block said. “We kept up the pressure on them and it made a difference in the end.”
Danielle Carr also had a big hand in the come-from-behind win, as her 3-pointer with about five minutes remaining—followed shortly by another bucket—allowed the Lady Hornets to narrow the lead before the big run.
The 3-pointer gave Carr her first points of the night. She finished with seven.
Edmond Santa Fe had the ball down three with less than 30 seconds remaining but the Lady Hornets forced a turnover and then Carr hit a pair of free throws to keep the Wolves from getting another shot at tying the game.
Mariah Williams hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the final deficit to two.
MaKenzie Ellis scored 16 to lead Tulsa Washington while Tori Cooks added 13 and Rachel Block 10.
Tamara Lee led Edmond Santa Fe with 24 points while Cameerah Graves added 16.
Santa Fe loses just one starter from this year’s team.
“This right here will help us get back to this point,” Bass said. “We’ll get better and be better for this.”