Union boys fall in overtime to Roland in final
BY JOHN D. FERGUSON World Correspondent
Sunday, December 30, 2012
12/30/12 at 6:22 AM
On a night when 21 3-point baskets rained inside the Mabee Center, it was a simple steal and layup by Gunnar Lynch that pulled unbeaten Roland over Union 75-73 in a pulsating overtime thriller to capture the 48th Tournament of Champions crown before 2,000 Saturday night.
Lynch waited for just the right moment to pounce, steal and drive the rest of the way for the layup with 10 seconds remaining. Union had one last desperation shot, but it was off the mark to end one of the most exciting Tournament of Champions finals.
"That's my biggest play ever," Lynch said. "It was our game plan to trap (near mid-court). That was the play we had."
It certainly was the right play for the Class 4A No. 1 Rangers (8-0). The loss prevented 6A No. 10 Union (4-4) from repeating its 2011 Tournament of Champions title.
Roland rallied from a 17-point deficit that began with a basket by Austin Cantrell with 6:06 left in the third quarter. During one third-quarter stretch, the Rangers made six baskets, five of which were 3-pointers.
The final 8:44 featured six ties and five lead changes.
The fact the game went into overtime was also miraculous. Roland's Marcus Chestnut nailed a deep 3-pointer from the corner of the baseline with seven seconds showing in regulation. However, Redskin Shawn Olden came right back to drain a trey with 1.4 seconds remaining.
A desperation shot followed by Chestnut from behind the half-court line, and it almost went in.
Overshadowed by the dramatic finish was a 30-point effort by Roland's Seth Youngblood. Youngblood was relentless shooting and driving to the basket. His first four baskets were 3-pointers.
Hero Lynch finished with nine points. He scored the first seven in the first quarter and waited until the end for the last two.
Olden led Union with 17 and teammate Jeff Mead added 12 and Josh Palmer managed 10.
Chestnut finished with nine points, all coming by the 3-point shot, and teammate Corey Whisenant tallied 12.
Booker T. Washington, 66, Edison 51: Class 6A's unranked Hornets (5-6) used a 24-point effort by Juwan Parker and another 20 points by Kevin Sims to thwart 5A No. 5 Edison (5-5) for the second time in two weeks.
The two teams met on Dec. 18 with Washington prevailing 61-47. This game was nearly the same except it was for third place in the Tournament of Champions.
Parker and Sims combined for seven 3-point baskets and all seemed to come at times when Edison was inching closer to the Hornets.
"We're starting to trust each other more and more," said Sims, who a 6-foot-2 junior. "I don't need to score 20 points every game. I just want to help my team win."
Dominique Primer led the Eagles with 14 points. Teammates Darius and Brian Speaks each recorded 12 while Anthony Williams downed 11.
Verdigris 63, Weleetka 44: The 3A No. 4 Cardinals (10-2) got deadly shooting from Blake Battenfield and Cade Upshaw to capture fifth place. Battenfield tallied a game-high 22 points while Upshaw made 21, including five 3-pointers.
The consolation title made it two on the day for Verdigris as the girls team did the same in their bracket.
Class A No. 1 Weleetka (8-2) was led by Montana Gormly's 11 points and 10 rebounds. Caleb Wittman and Jeremiah Winney each scored 10.
Dale 65, Arnett 64: Class 2A No. 7 Dale (9-2) led by 13 points with three minutes left, but Class B No. 2 Arnett (9-6) rallied to within one at the buzzer.
Dale's Jace Wilkins hit two free throws with four seconds left to make it a two-possession game. It was a good thing since Arnett's Tyler Tune raced down and tossed up a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Evan Anderson led Dale with 20 points while Wilkins added 17 and Caleb Banks tallied 12. Ryne Friesen led Arnett with 20 points. Trevor Bryant made 19 and Tune finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
ROLAND 75, UNION 73, OT
Union: Olden 17, Mead 12, Palmer 10, Meir 9, Wannemacher 9, Davis 8, Barton 8.
Roland: Youngblood 30, Whisenant 12, Chestnut 9, Lynch 9, Robertson 7, Cantrell 6, Brock 2.
B.T. WASHINGTON 66, EDISON 51
B.T. Washington: Parker 24, Sims 20, Bitson 8, Tease 6, C. Miller 6, A. Miller 2.
Edison: Primer 14, B. Speaks 12, D. Speaks 12, Williams 11, Finney 2.
VERDIGRIS 63, WELEETKA 44
Weleetka: Gormly 11, Wittman 10, Winney 10, Bencoma 6, Frye 5, Carter 2.
Verdigris: Battenfield 22, Upshaw 21, Monroe 6, Brasher 4, Bryant 3, Brockup 3, Hundley 3, Skalnik 1.
DALE 65, ARNETT 64
Dale: Anderson 20, Wilkins 17, Banks 12, Stark 8, Pinkston 6, Nelson 2.
Arnett: Friesen 20, Bryant 19, Tune 17, Smith 8.
Tournament of Champions: Boys
At ORU's Mabee Center
Union 67, Weleetka 56
B.T. Washington 80, Dale 57
Edison 70, Arnett 44
Roland 79, Verdigris 58
Weleetka 59, Dale 45
Verdigris 71, Arnett 67
Roland 70, Edison 63
Union 46, B.T. Washington 43
Dale 65, Arnett 64 (7th)
Verdigris 63, Weleetka 44 (5th)
B.T. Washington 66, Edison 51 (3rd)
Roland 75, Union 73, OT (1st)
Union's Jeff Mead is defended by Roland's Marcus Chestnut during Saturday's Tournament of Champions finals at the Mabee Center. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World