With his star on the free-throw line with two seconds left, Carl Albert coach Tim Price had no doubt his team would have the lead.
He just needed to decide if he's rather be up by one or two.
Price was right and Gioya Carter came up big at the end, lifting the Titans to a 35-34 win over Lawton MacArthur at Edmond North to advance to next week's Class 5A state tournament.
Carter made the first one-and-one free throw after being fouled driving the lane, missed the second intentionally then stole the ball just before time expired to clinch the win.
“I didn't even want them to have a chance at a shot,” Carter said.
With Jordan Gilbert banged up but playing, Carter had to take the game over even more than she normally does.
It wasn't easy, though.
Lawton MacArthur center Alaysia Vann was dominant at times inside and the Highlanders led for most of the game.
After three, the Titans were down 30-24.
But Carl Albert turned things up defensively and held the ball for most of the last three minutes before MacArthur started fouling in the final 35 seconds.
Three quick fouls put the Highlanders at six for the half but on the next in-bounds, Carter drove the lane and picked up the foul that sent her to the line for the potential game-winner.
Carter finished with 22 points.
Vann led MacArthur with 19 points.
The Titans are in the state tournament for the ninth consecutive game, the longest girls streak in the state.
“This is one of the sweetest,” Price said. “To take this group of girls to state, I'm very, very happy.”
MEMORIAL BACK IN STATE
Two nights after falling to Norman North, Edmond Memorial lifted itself into the state tournament for the fourth consecutive season with a 53-47 win over Choctaw.
The Bulldogs were coming off a runner-up finish coming into the season but brought back a team that was largely inexperienced.
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