Northeast, a team with two sophomores and a junior in its starting lineup, sent away its superstar, senior center Julius Lamptey, with the Class 4A title. The Vikings downed Azubuike and Victory Christian 63-54 before about 6,000 fans on Saturday night at State Fair Arena.
Azubuike finished his stellar career with 3,526 points, the second-best total in state history, just 113 shy of the state mark set by Ty Harman of Maud from 1985 through 1989. But during his time at the south Tulsa private school, Victory Christian won only one state championship, during his sophomore season. During his other years, the Conquerors lost in the first round, the semifinals and this time, in the championship game.
When the second-ranked Conquerors (19-10) looked to the 6- foot-6 Azubuike on Saturday, he didn't come through. Azubuike scored 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, but he went just 9-of-27 from the field. Victory Christian's other NCAA Division prospect, Kasey Stewart, went just 3-of-12 from the field and scored nine points. As a team, the Conquerors shot 17-of-52 (32.7 percent).
Tenth-ranked Northeast, meanwhile, played significant stretches without the 7-foot Lamptey, who got into early foul trouble while defending Azubuike.
The Vikings (18-9) compensated with speedy sophomore guard Eddie Grayson, who scored 16 points (12 in the decisive third quarter), 6-foot-6 sophomore forward Gerell Thomas, who had 14 points and eight rebounds, and sophomore reserve guard Justin Wilson, who also had 14 points.
Northeast hit 22 of 42 shots (52.4 percent) and 12 of 17 free throws in the fourth quarter.