Isolated in far eastern Oklahoma, Roland senior Seth Youngblood had to work extra-hard to put himself and his team on the basketball map.
One of the state's most underrated players the last two years, Youngblood accomplished it in December, when he led Roland to victories over Class 5A Tulsa Edison and Class 6A Tulsa Union — the state champion a year earlier — to win the Tournament of Champions.
The Rangers came up two points short of a state championship, falling 82-80 to Douglass in the Class 4A title game last month.
But Youngblood had 41 in the final, nearly matching Douglass star Stephen Clark shot-for-shot as Clark posted 51 points in one of the most exciting state championship games of the year.
Youngblood finished the year averaging 25.5 points per game to earn a spot on The Oklahoman's Super 5 first team.
“That last game was everything to me,” Youngblood said. “It's what I had been wanting since I had been in high school. Kind of like a movie. Every year, we were one game away from playing Douglass, and in the end, we finally got that chance. It was amazing.
“We accomplished all of our goals, except for one, and we were right there with a chance to do it.”
The 6-foot-1 guard has signed with the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, keeping him close to home for college.
“I've been over there shooting around in the gym, getting started on my weight program so I can get a little bigger,” Youngblood said. “I love the coaches and the players. They have a couple other recruits that are gonna be really good. I'm looking forward to it.”