TULSA — As the final seconds wound down, Midwest City's Richa Jackson pounded the ball into the ground, bouncing it high into the air and that was it.
A year of torment, of disappointment was officially over. Now it was time to celebrate.
The Bombers, the No. 1 team all season, proved that's exactly what they were when it mattered most.
Sparked by Jackson, Midwest City rolled through Norman for the fourth time this season in a 46-32 victory to earn the Class 6A girls state championship Saturday afternoon at Oral Roberts' Mabee Center.
It is the Bombers' first state title since 1992 and their second overall.
Midwest City's bid for an undefeated season went out the door last year to rival Del City in the championship. There would be no repeat of that, not with this team.
"It drove us all season," Jackson said. "It was hard to watch (last year's championship), but we eventually did and learned from it. This is even better than I imagined."
It showed. Not just at the state tournament, where the Bombers won their three games by an average of 14 points but all season. Midwest City finishes the year at 26-2, having not lost to an in-state opponent this year.
Jackson, a Duke signee, led the charge, scoring 13 of her 16 points in the first half as Midwest City ended the first half on a 21-4 run and took a 30-15 lead into halftime. She also grabbed 12 rebounds.
And with the type of defense the Bombers have, that would be more than enough.
"We realized at the end of the third quarter that if we just did what we normally do, we might be able to relax," coach Art Bode said. "Norman's a great team, but our defense has been solid all year."
The Bombers knew the target was on their backs all season — even embraced it. They knew they would take every team's best shot, and they did.
It was fitting that it was Norman in the championship, as the Tigers had been the Bombers' toughest opponent.
But for this group of girls, it simply didn't matter.
"I can't really explain my emotions right now. It's a feeling of relief," junior Kaylon Williams said. "We had to raise our game every night because we knew everybody wanted to be where we were. We did it."
Williams had nine points and seven rebounds.
Norman's hot shooting against Edmond North put the Tigers into the finals, but the suffocating MWC defense made sure it gave Norman its first loss in a championship game.
The Tigers only had one field goal in the second quarter, and the Bombers led by as many 21 points in the first half.
Sophomore Jordan Franks led the way with 10 points and six rebounds while Kamra King had all seven of her points in the first quarter. King was injured with 4:58 left in the game and didn't return.
Norman finishes at 23-6.High school basketball tournament coverage sponsored by United Supermarkets.