You probably only need one hand to count the number of games Douglass point guard Stephen Clark hasn't started in his four-year career.
The Oklahoma State signee added another on Friday, sitting out the first five minutes of the Trojans' semifinal win over Victory Christian with an ankle injury.
Clark sat alone toward the end of the bench until about the 3:00 mark of the first quarter, when he stood up and walked to the scorer's table to check in.
He never left the game from that point, scoring 25 points to get Douglass back to the 4A finals for the fourth consecutive year.
His 25 points moved him ahead of former Red Oak player Lane Adams for sixth on Oklahoma's all-time career scoring list with 3,261 points.
ROUGH DAY FOR DEFENDING CHAMPS
It wasn't a good day to be a defending champion in girls basketball.
It started Friday morning when Perkins-Tryon defeated defending Class 3A champ Millwood at State Fair Arena. Class 2A's Fairview was knocked off by Northeast in the early afternoon, and Anadarko in Class 4A went down to Mount St. Mary Friday night at Southern Nazarene in Bethany.
In Tulsa, Class 6A's returning champ, Edmond Santa Fe, lost to Tulsa Washington.
Only Class 5A Shawnee, which needed a second-half comeback and overtime to beat Carl Albert, survived the day.
ROLAND MAKING SECOND FINALS APPEARANCE
Asked if he thought his Roland Rangers would ever get back to the state finals after their first appearance in 2007, coach Ed Lewis was brutally honest.
“I live in a dream world,” Lewis said with a laugh. “I think every year that my team will have a chance to get there.”
The top-ranked Rangers will face No. 2 Douglass, the three-time defending champion, at 12:15 p.m. Saturday in the 4A title game at State Fair Arena. A victory would be the school's first team state championship in any sport.
“To play for a gold ball is so good for my team,” Lewis said. “They've worked so hard for several years and I'm excited for them to get the opportunity to play.”
Roland lost to Bishop McGuinness in the Class 4A championship in 2007.
CENTENNIAL PRINCIPAL ON THE OTHER SIDE
Centennial principal Charmaine Johnson was all burgundy and gold Friday night for the Bison boys basketball team's Class 3A semifinal game against Millwood.
But it might have felt a little backward.
Johnson was a basketball player at Millwood before her college career at Oklahoma State.
“Every year, we end up playing Millwood,” Johnson said. “So I have my red, white and blue on the inside, but I have all my burgundy and gold on the outside.”
NORTHEAST GOES GREEN
With neon green shoes and warm-up shirts, it's hard not to notice the Northeast girls basketball team.
But there is a reason for that.
Northeast coach Londaryl Perry said the original intent was to order pink shoes for cancer awareness, but Nike no longer made the shoes they intended to order.
Instead, they chose neon green in hopes of standing out.
“The girls decided let's go with green, it'll make us stand out,” Perry said. “The shirts came about for the state tournament.
“I know it's not pink … but ideas started popping in their heads. So, we rolled with the punches.”
Northeast players Danielle Gaddis and Maximina Gonzalez each lost their mom to cancer, according to Perry.
“That really makes some special feelings for that,” Perry said.
SIMON RETURNS TO FINALS
Okemah coach Kale Simon is making a return to the state finals after the Panthers defeated Sequoyah-Tahlequah 55-35 in the Class 3A boys semifinals. But this time he's done it with a different team.
Simon came to Okemah in 2011 just one season removed from guiding Roff to a Class B state title in 2010. He believes his past experiences have helped this team, but gives most of the credit to his players.
“As far as the preparation and the planning it has helped,” Simon said. “But every year you get new kids. The way they've performed has been spectacular. It's simply about them being really, really good today.”
Simon has compiled a career record of 137-35, going 48-8 in his two seasons with Okemah. The Panthers' only previous finals appearance was in 2009, when they lost to Cascia Hall.