SKIATOOK — Trey Phipps and his Booker T. Washington teammates want a different ending this time around.
The Hornets have one of the most storied basketball programs in Oklahoma with 15 state championships, tied for the most in history with Millwood. But the past two years have ended with losses in the state finals, and their last gold ball came in 2011.
Ranked No. 2 in Class 6A, the Hornets will get another shot at a championship after they held off No. 10 Jenks 65-56 Friday in the area tournament winners bracket game at the Brooks Walton Activity Center.
“We have redemption on our minds,” said Phipps, who led all scorers with 23 points. “We’ve lost the last year and the year before. We know we have a target on our backs.”
Seth Hurd added 14 points for BTW (23-2) and Bryce Thompson chipped in 13 points, including a couple of key baskets in the fourth quarter that stalled a Trojans rally.
Still in search of its first state berth since 2015, Jenks (18-7) will face Southmoore (18-8) at 6:30 p.m. Saturday back in Skiatook, with the winner claiming a spot in the state tournament. The Sabercats defeated Owasso 55-53 in the losers bracket game.
Phipps scored 18 in the first half as the Hornets closed the first quarter on an 18-3 run and led by as many as 17 in the second quarter.
“My teammates were just finding me,” Phipps said. “I’ll do whatever I can to win.”
But Jenks rallied and climbed to within six going into the fourth quarter at 51-45. Tristan Hines scored on consecutive layups for the Trojans as they trailed just 51-50 with 5:19 left. Following a Hornets timeout, Thompson calmly buried a jumper and then a 3-pointer the next trip down as BTW scored seven unanswered to lead 58-50 and eventually held on for the win.
“I just had to take over,” said Thompson, who had seven of his 13 points in the fourth quarter. “I had missed some easy shots earlier, but I still had confidence.”
Peyton Golightly paced Jenks with 16 points. Blake Seacat had 15 and Ike Houston finished with 10.
The Hornets needed a similar late surge to top Jenks in a 68-56 in the regular season meeting on Jan. 15, which prepared BTW coach Conley Phipps II for what he saw on Friday.
“They’re a really good, well-coached team,” Phipps said. “I told our guys in the locker room (at halftime) it wasn’t over.”
Southmoore 55, Owasso 53
Jordan Thompson scored a game-high 18 points, including a three-point play with 1:36 remaining that broke a 48-all tie and gave the Sabercats the lead for good. Sam Godwin added 15 points for Southmoore.
Thompson’s basket and free throw ignited a 7-0 run for the Sabercats. Owasso, which trailed by as many as nine in the second half, scored the final five points of the game, but Hayden Peterson’s basket at the buzzer was not enough to complete the comeback.
Seth Pomeroy paced Owasso with 12 points. Peterson and Trenton Ellison each had 11 for the Rams (16-10).
BOOKER T. WASHINGTON 65, JENKS 56
Jenks 14 16 15 11 — 56
BTW 25 17 9 14 — 65
Jenks (18-7): Golightly 16, Seacat 15, Houston 10, Hines 6, A.Nelson 5, C.Martin 2, Nelson 2.
Booker T. Washington (23-2): Phipps 23, Hurd 14, Thompson 13, McHenry 9, Breath 6.
SOUTHMOORE 55, OWASSO 53
Owasso 9 14 16 14 — 53
Southmore 12 18 8 17 — 55
Owasso (16-10): Pomeroy 12, Peterson 11, Ellison 11, Mann 7, Hendricks 4, Vanlandingham 4, Potter 2, Reimer 2.
Southmoore (18-8): Thompson 18, Godwin 15, Ward 9, Kline 5, Jackson 4, Ryan 4.