TULSA — Broken Arrow had been uncharacteristically bad in the third quarter of its first two Class 6A state tournament games Thursday and Friday.
“It’s kind of ironic, because throughout the season, we have been a third quarter team,” said coach Mike Hughes. “We kinda went back to our old ways today.”
Nursing a three-point lead a couple minutes into the second half Saturday, Broken Arrow senior Toree Thompson scored, stole the ball and scored again off a fast break. Those four points all came within 20 seconds and sparked the Tigers to a 70-51 victory over Edmond Santa Fe in the Class 6A state championship game inside the Mabee Center.
Saturday’s win capped an undefeated season and secured Broken Arrow’s first girls’ basketball state title since 1983.
Edmond Santa Fe led 16-11 after the first quarter and trailed by only two at the break. Wolves senior and leading scorer Tamara Lee had recorded 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting in the first half.
After the break, though, Lee was just one of seven from the field and finished with 16 points.
Thompson, meanwhile, hit her stride after halftime. She scored 15 of her game-high 23 points in the second half, only missing two shots from the field in the final two frames.
“We knew it was all or nothing,” the Ole Miss signee said of her team’s second-half attitude. “We had to come together and fight hard until the end. That’s the mentality I had.”
Broken Arrow was the favorite entering the state tournament, but strangely didn’t win comfortably until Saturday’s final against the No. 2 Wolves.
The Tigers beat Norman North by 10 in the quarterfinals, and trailed Choctaw by three points with 30 seconds remaining in a Friday semifinal before Thompson reeled off 5 consecutive points — including a game-winning layup at the buzzer — to stun the upset-minded Yellowjackets.
“Great group of kids,” Hughes said. “We kinda went down a path that nobody thought was possible. Even we didn’t at times. But they’re very resilient, and they always believed they would win.”
Edmond Santa Fe finishes its season at 26-2, with both of its losses coming to Broken Arrow.
“It’s hard of them to be proud of that silver ball, but in ’06 when we got that silver ball, those girls realized what it meant to be one of the top two teams in the state,” said Edmond Santa Fe coach Paul Bass. “It’ll mean a lot to them down the road, because their name will be on that plaque and it’ll be in that gym forever.”