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Douglass' state champion basketball team brings back Trojan pride

On a day when the Douglass boys beat Roland 82-80 and ran their streak of state high school basketball titles to four, the Trojans provided a respite.
by Jenni Carlson Published: March 9, 2013
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photo - Douglass Stephen Clark carries the championship trophy after his 51 point scoring run during the 4a boys championship game where the Douglass high school Trojans defeated the Roland Rangers 82-80 at the State Fair Arena on Saturday, March 9, 2013 in Oklahoma City, Okla.  Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Douglass Stephen Clark carries the championship trophy after his 51 point scoring run during the 4a boys championship game where the Douglass high school Trojans defeated the Roland Rangers 82-80 at the State Fair Arena on Saturday, March 9, 2013 in Oklahoma City, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

It's a cloud that's hung over their school this year.

Clark said the team stayed up late Friday night talking about the opportunity that they had in front of them. They were nervous about the game but grateful for the chance to do something positive for their school.

Remember, too, that the wild year hasn't just been in the classroom. The team had its own turmoil.

After last season, longtime coach Terry Long left for Mustang, where he would be able to coach his son, and was replaced by Anthony Andrews. In the aftermath from the coaching change, Clark, the top player in the state, flirted with the idea of graduating school early.

He decided to stay for his senior season.

Then, he decided to move to a Las Vegas prep school.

Then, he decided to move back.

Everyone who was at State Fair Arena on Saturday afternoon and witnessed his performance was glad that he returned. He sliced to the basket. He created for teammates. He caused havoc on defense.

But more than anything, he shot threes. He hit nine of them, and more than half of those were from deep.

Clark shot one from the Chesapeake Energy logo that is well beyond the hash mark.

Best estimate: 35 feet.

But as good as Clark was, Roland kept the game close. Douglass extended the lead to three possessions a couple times during the second half, but Roland always had an answer, often in the form of guard Seth Youngblood, who scored 40 points.

This game belonged to Douglass and Clark, who scored 16 points in the fourth quarter.

“It just felt great,” Clark said.

Banks said, “My senior year, it's good to go out with a bang.”

A state championship, of course, doesn't solve the school's problems. There is still work to be done. There is still a mess to clean up.

On Monday, even though Oklahoma City Public Schools is on spring break, there will be intersession classes going on at Douglass.

But on Saturday, Douglass got a title and a break.

A good day?

Nah.

“It's a great day,” Banks said.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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