Putnam City West has been ranked as high as No. 2 in the state at times this year.
Now the Patriots get their shot at No. 1.
Sixth-ranked PC West held off a feisty Lawton Eisenhower team for a 62-54 win in the semifinals of the Putnam City Invitational Friday night on the Patriots' home floor.
Now, they'll take on No. 1 Tulsa Union, which survived a thrilling double-overtime showdown with the Oklahoma City Storm.
PC West kept trying to put Lawton Ike away, but the Eagles kept hanging close, once cutting the Patriot lead to four points in the final minute before free throws iced it for PC West.
“At halftime, coach (Lenny Bert) told us to pick up the defensive intensity,” said Stephen Edwards, who provided the spark the Patriots needed in the second half, finishing with 12 points, seven assists and five rebounds. “We just had to get up and go get the win.”
Tyson Jolly had 19 points to lead PC West, which improved to 10-2. This is the Patriots' second tournament final in two weeks, after winning the Junior Orange Bowl Classic in Miami, Fla., over the holiday break.
Keyshawn Perkins and Dominique Pierre had 13 points apiece for Lawton Eisenhower.
Union poses an interesting challenge for PC West, which will be at a size disadvantage with its guard-heavy lineup.
“They have a lot of size, but we have a lot of guards,” Edwards said. “So we'll just use our advantage to the best of our ability and hopefully we'll get a win.”
Collins' 47 not enough for Storm
A night after defeating the No. 2 team in Class 6A, the homeschool Oklahoma City Storm went double-overtime against No. 1 Tulsa Union, but the Redskins pulled out the thriller 84-81.
On Thursday night, Storm guard Chauncey Collins scored 50 points in a 101-69 win over Midwest City. He followed it up with 47 against Union, including clutch baskets late in regulation and the first overtime.
But Union's Shawn Olden was clutch down the stretch to help the Redskins survive and advance to the finals of the PCI at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Millwood, Western Heights win drama-filled semifinals
Both semifinal games at the Bethany Classic turned into heart-pulsing victories for Class 2A No. 2 Millwood and Class 5A No. 15 Western Heights, setting up an 8:30 p.m. showdown Saturday in the championship game.
Millwood closed out the evening by rallying from a 10-point deficit over the final 3:45 for a 51-48 victory against Class 4A No. 3 Harrah. Three Millwood players finished with at least 14 points, led by Michael Mays with 18.
Earlier Friday, the Jets took the lead for good against No. 4 Piedmont with free throws from Walter Lomo with 1:10 remaining in the 45-44 win. Gerard Giles led the Jets with 18.
The endings, though, weren't without drama as both Harrah and Piedmont missed multiple chances to win or tie the game as the clock expired.
McGuinness coasts to final
McGuinness only scored one point in the fourth quarter, but it was plenty as the Irish advanced to the finals of their own tournament with a 51-29 win over Norman.
Stuart Krous led McGuinness, ranked No. 1 in Class 5A, with 13 points, while Will Lienhard and Stephen Amalong added 10 apiece.
The Irish will face Norman North, which got 19 points from Kairo Rutledge in a 73-58 win over Yukon.
Tuttle's Tyler Lester had 38 points, including 12 3-pointers, in the Tigers' 76-32 victory over Konawa in the Konawa Tournament. ... Perkins-Tryon brothers Thunder and Talon Sharp combined for 33 points as the Demons defeated Capitol Hill 78-38. ... Vaughn Raney's 15 points led Cashion to its second narrow victory in as many days, 43-42 over Okeene, to advance to the finals of the Three Rivers Conference Tournament. The Wildcats will face Thomas in Saturday's final. ... Colton Lindsey's 12 points led four Christian Heritage players in double figures in a 57-47 win over Lookeba-Sickles.