The night ended sometime around 11, with Putnam City’s Kyle Hardrick screaming at the gold ball. "I got you,” Hardrick said. "I finally got you.”
Hardrick has helped teams win a pair of AAU national championships playing against stiffer all-around competition than he faced in Jenks on Saturday. Next season, he’ll be at Oklahoma trying to help the Sooners reach the NCAA Tournament again. In that moment, though, nothing else mattered for Hardrick. Hardrick’s Putnam City teammate, Xavier Henry, was just as joyous. Henry clutched the trophy near center court long after Lloyd Noble Center stands had emptied. "This game was nowhere near perfect,” Henry said after the Pirates’ 72-48 win over Jenks. "But that doesn’t matter. All we wanted to do was win the game.” The game ended a terrific last day of the basketball season. It wasn’t quite as thrilling as the Championship Saturday 2008 at State Fair Arena, but this year’s final day of action at Lloyd Noble Center was still special. Last year, there were likely heroes Keiton Page of Pawnee and Rotnei Clarke of Verdigris — and unlikely ones such as Pocola’s Callie Slate and Millwood’s Brittany Demery. Saturday, there was Star Spencer’s Deontae Thomas coming off the bench to hit more big shots.
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