Deer Creek girls basketball coach Totsy Manning has had plenty of good teams during her time coaching four different schools.
Saturday, she'll get her first shot at coaching in a championship game when her Antlers face Shawnee for the Class 5A girls title.
“I've been here (in the state tournament) lots of times, but this is the first championship game,” Manning said. “It's about time.”
Manning also was the head coach at Binger-Oney, El Reno and Choctaw before taking over at Deer Creek.
There is state championship history in Manning's family, though.
Her father-in-law, Henry Manning, was the longtime football coach at Del City and coached the Eagles to the 1976 Class 4A title.
OWASSO COACH ‘NOT A PROPONENT OF SHOT CLOCKS'
Edmond Memorial controlled the basketball for all but 30 seconds of the second overtime period in their 53-50 victory over Owasso in the Class 6A semifinals.
Before senior guard Aaron Young's game winner at the buzzer, the Bulldogs held the ball for nearly two minutes on that possession alone.
Still, Owasso coach Mark Vancuren said after the game that he wouldn't be in favor of installing a shot clock for high-school games.
“I am not a proponent of the shot clock,” Vancuren said. “It's chess not checkers. You go out there and play and use strategy and things at your disposal as a coach to arrive at the desired outcome.
“They got it right where they wanted it and shot it in the hole and got one more than we did.”
MAN DEFENSE HELPS IRISH
As the top-ranked Bishop McGuinness boys tried to rally from what was virtually a game-long deficit against Chickasha in the Class 5A semifinals, the Irish made a defensive switch that proved critical.
“We're usually a zone team on defense, and we haven't played very much man this year,” said senior David Love, who led all scorers with 16 points. “We tried to go into a zone press, and it was working for a little bit, but they figured out something.”
The Irish took the lead for good midway through the fourth quarter, and ended up winning 50-40 to advance to Saturday's title game.
“We had to go straight man, and it's probably the third or fourth time we've ever done that this year,” Love said. “It just got the tempo up, and got our momentum back. I think that's what started the comeback.”
SANTA FE ALREADY LOOKING AT RETURN
As his players streamed out of the locker room, many in tears, Edmond Santa Fe coach Paul Bass was already turning his attention toward next season.
The Wolves lose three seniors, just one a starter, going into next year.
They return leading scorer Tamara Lee and plenty of other players that helped boost Santa Fe to a 24-2 season.
Last year's state title team lost seven seniors, including four starters.
“You've got to go through losses here to get to where you want to get back to where we want to be,” Bass said. “There are a lot of girls in there that are hurting, but they'll remember what this is like.”
PARKER'S RETURN HELPS DEVERS SHINE
When Bixby star Stevi Parker went down with a stress fracture in her right foot in mid-January, virtually all of the attention from opposing defenses focused on Christina Devers.
Since Parkers' return for the playoffs, Devers has seen things open up offensively.
“Oh, it's helped me tremendously to have her back,” Devers said. “She's such an amazing player. When she was gone, we just knew we had to win enough to keep our seed. If we could stay there without her, we knew we'd be OK when she got back.”
Parker didn't have a great offensive day Friday in a 52-46 win over Tulsa Union, but she drew plenty of attention away from Devers, allowing the guard to score a game-high 31.
ROBERTS CAME UP CLUTCH FOR IRISH
Bishop McGuinness senior Greg Roberts' 3-pointer with 5:54 remaining gave his team its final lead in a semifinal win over Chickasha.
Roberts finished with nine points on two treys and three late fourth-quarter free throws that helped sealed the Irish's victory.
“When you're growing up, you just dream of stepping up to that free-throw line with the game on the line,” Roberts said.
The Irish didn't return any starters from last year's Class 5A championship team.
In fact, Love is the only current Irish player to have seen any minutes at all in last season's title-game win over Tulsa East Central.
“Greg is a guy that waited his turn,” said Irish coach Tondrell Durham. “If all players just wait their turn, work hard, they can be in Greg's position.
“He waited his turn, and I'm happy to see that he gets a chance to play for a state championship.”