4A boys basketball: Roland stops McLain to reach final against reigning champ OKC Douglass
BY JOHN D. FERGUSON World Correspondent
Saturday, March 09, 2013
3/09/13 at 5:17 AM
OKLAHOMA CITY - Roland's Seth Youngblood finally revealed a basketball secret about himself Friday.
He is not perfect. The senior actually missed one free throw against McLain.
Still, Youngblood made 11 others as the No. 1 Rangers will play for the Class 4A boys state championship after dispatching the No. 8 Titans 63-52 before 2,000 fans in State Fair Arena.
Youngblood played with a steely coolness under pressure. The 6-foot guard scored 25 points, grabbed eight rebounds, blocked a shot and had three assists to lead Roland (28-1) to its second state final at 12:15 p.m. Saturday.
Roland was the state runner-up in 2007 in its other final appearance. Coach Ed Lewis' crew will meet defending champion Oklahoma City Douglass. The No. 2 Trojans survived No. 3 Victory Christian 79-70.
McLain and Roland played a thrilling overtime battle in the Northeastern A&M tournament in January. The Rangers prevailed by just one point.
Despite the 11-point difference in the 4A semifinal, the Titans played tough. McLain forged a fourth-quarter rally that cut Roland's 15-point advantage down to six at 48-42 with 5:30 left.
The rally faltered when Corey Whisenhunt, who missed the NEO battle, got eight of his 12 points in the final eight minutes.
Whisenhunt plus Youngblood and others would squelch thoughts of an upset in the last 4:46 and slowly pulled away again.
"I guess those two players made a difference," Youngblood said of the difference between the January and March meetings with McLain.
Brooks Robertson, Roland's linebacker-looking guard, also contributed mightily to the win. He had 11 points and three assists.
Youngblood answered questions like he was changing classes in Roland's hallway, instead of someone who fought through blanket the Titans' defense. He didn't bother with that, but wanted to thank his teammates.
"It's a pleasure to play with them," Youngblood said. "I've been playing with them since fifth grade. We have so much chemistry. It's just a privilege to play with them for so long."
McLain ended its season at 16-11 led by a double-double performance from Quentin Nails, who had 14 points and 14 rebounds. Teammate Bishop Louie, who hit the winning shot in the quarterfinals, managed a team-high 16.
OKC Douglass 79, Victory Christian 70: On just one good leg, Stephen Clark came off the bench to help the Trojans (26-3) outlast the upset-minded Conquerors (26-3).
The game featured 71 free throws and a big lead almost blown by the defending state champion Trojans.
Victory Christian trailed 60-47 near the end of the third quarter before staging a rally.
Chris Crawford led the Conquerors' charge by hitting nine second-half free throws, four baskets and a 3-pointer. He led all scorers with 28.
Victory Christian's Damion Parker, who had 14 points, nailed a 3-pointer with 3:47 left in the game to tie the game at 69-all.
Despite Douglass' struggles at the free throw line, the Conquerors' rally fell short as they managed just one point in the last 3:47.
Clark finished with 25 points despite playing with a hurt ankle. Clark's brother, Deondre, helped the cause with 15 points and hit some pressure free throws late.
Climbing the scoring chart
Stephen Clark of Oklahoma City Douglass continues his climb up the career scoring list. On Thursday, he scored 16 points in a 79-56 win over Muldrow. On Friday, his 3-pointer with 4:42 left in the third quarter gave Douglass a 55-39 lead, and gave him 16 points for the game. That allowed him to push past Red Oak's Lane Adams into sixth place all-time.
Clark finished Friday's game with 25 points, and has 3,261. He needs 29 in Saturday's championship game against Roland to catch Stratford's Dalen Qualls for fifth place.
Here is the current top 10 in boys basketball state history, with points, then player, school and year of graduation:
3,758: Rotnei Clarke, Verdigris (2008)
3,709: Keiton Page, Pawnee (2008)
3,639: Ty Harman, Maud (1989)
3,530: Kelenna Azubuike, Victory Christian (2002)
3,290: Dalen Qualls, Stratford (2011)
3,261: Stephen Clark, OKC Douglass (2013)
3,251: Lane Adams, Red Oak (2009)
3,244: Josh Young, Lawton Christian (2006)
3,191: Kenneth Johnson, Grandfield (1979)
2,950: Bryant Reeves, Gans (1991)
Original Print Headline: Roland reaches 4A title contest
Thursday at Choctaw
McLain 40, Anadarko 38
OKC Douglass 79, Muldrow 56
Victory Christian 64, Harrah 45
Roland 66, Webster 54
Friday at State Fair Arena OKC
Roland 63, McLain 52
OKC Douglass 79, Victory Christian 70
Saturday at State Fair Arena OKC
No. 1 Roland (28-1) vs. No. 2 OKC Douglass (26-3), 12:15 p.m.
ROLAND 63, McLAIN 52
McLain (17-13): Louie 16, Nails 14, Jones 7, Carter 6, Smith 6, Hunt 3.
Roland (28-1): Youngblood 25, Whisenhunt 12, Robertson 11, Cantrell 6, Brock 4, Byrd 3, Lynch 2.
OKC DOUGLASS 79, VICTORY CHRISTIAN 70
OKC Douglass (26-3): S. Clark 25, Banks 19, D. Clark 15, Smith 12, Threatt 4, Fortune 2, Smiley 2.
Victory Christian (26-3): Crawford 28, Parker 14, Freeman 10, Calhoon 9, Jordan 5, E. Adesokan 3, Terry 1.
Keondre Jones drives past Roland's Marcus Chestnut during Friday's 4A state semifinal game in Oklahoma City. CHRIS LANDSBERGER/The Oklahoman