Heritage Hall survives OT in 4A quarterfinal
Class 4A boys quarterfinals began Tuesday at State Fair Arena. Here's what happened:
<@Bold>Heritage Hall 53, Holland Hall 51, OT<@$p>
CJ Smith was in perfect position.
The sophomore guard at Heritage Hall was positioned underneath his basket as the basketball fell toward him. Trey Alexander, Heritage Hall's star senior, had his shot deflected with time winding down in overtime.
Lucky for Alexander, Smith was waiting.
The ball fell into his hands, as he quickly jumped and put it off the glass and into the basket. Heritage Hall's bench erupted in celebration as the final buzzer sounded.
Second-ranked Heritage Hall knocked off No. 8 Tulsa Holland Hall 53-51 in overtime. Alexander's 24 points led all scorers, but it was Smith's bucket that propelled Heritage Hall to the semifinals, holding off a stellar Holland Hall run.
"CJ is a fighter on the glass," Heritage Hall coach Chris Hamilton said. "He was really big for us tonight. He had some big plays."
Smith finished with five points, four rebounds and four assists. Alexander had a double-double, also corralling 10 rebounds.
The Chargers (20-5 overall) led by 18 entering the final quarter, but Holland Hall was able to outscore them 20-2 down the stretch and missed a shot at the buzzer for the win.
Marc Gouldsby had nine points in the fourth quarter. Carter Benton hit four second-half 3-pointers, with two of those coming in the fourth quarter.
<@Bold>Tulsa Webster 56, Victory Christian 51<@$p>
It seemed as if the shot was going in before Anthony Pritchard even took it.
The senior guard at Tulsa Webster had essentially done everything perfectly in the first half. He made tough layups and open 3-pointers, hit teammates for open shots and was in the right positions on defense.
Pritchard is one of the best players in the state, and it showed during No. 3 Webster’s 56-51 win against No. 4 Tulsa Victory Christian on Tuesday night at State Fair Arena in the quarterfinals. He scored 30 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead Webster to the semifinals, where it will face Heritage Hall at 11:30 a.m. Friday.
Yet his 3-pointer right before the close of the first half showed it was Webster’s night.
“I’m glad (with) the start we came out with,” Webster coach Scott Bowman said. “It’s what we wanted. A little disappointed in the later part of the game.”
Webster led by 18 following the third quarter, but Victory hit a barrage of 3s in the final quarter, including four from freshman Cedric Hardridge, to close the gap.
Webster (16-6) led 33-13 at halftime, and Pritchard scored 19 of his points in the first half.
Josh Udoumoh scored 22 points for Victory.
<@Bold>Classen SAS 49, Mount St. Mary 47<@$p>
Classen SAS coach Kendal Cudjoe looked to Anthony Turner, who was preparing to shoot free throws.
"Remember, big-time players," Cudjoe said to his senior guard. Turner nodded, then turned back toward the basket before sinking his first free throw, which forced a Mount St. Mary timeout.
Cudjoe's message came across clear. Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games. And Turner's free throw was all Classen SAS needed.
The seventh-ranked Comets topped No. 5 Mount St. Mary 49-47 on Wednesday morning at State Fair Arena in the quarterfinals. Turner, along with fellow senior Camari Smiley, each scored 15 points, and Classen SAS used a big third quarter to advance to the semifinals in its first state tournament game since 1980.
"Our switch to man-to-man in the third quarter was huge for us," Cudjoe said. "Out 2-2-1 (zone) was working OK, but they did a good job of breaking it. We settled down a little bit, but our man-to-man defense in the third quarter was huge."
The Comets qualified for the state tournament last year but were unable to play their first game in 40 years because it was canceled due to the pandemic.
Classen SAS (17-2) led 21-19 at halftime but outscored Mount St. Mary 15-7 in the third quarter. Smiley scored eight points in the quarter and played strong defense.
In the fourth, the Rockets (18-4) nearly mounted a comeback. Diante Palmer, who scored 16 points to lead all scorers, had eight points in the period.
<@Bold>Kingfisher 46, Blanchard 34<@$p>
Bijan Cortes wasn't expecting the pass to fall into his hands.
Blanchard's Jaxon Laminack tried to pass the ball to his teammate, yet it fell into the hands of the Yellowjackets' star. Although he seemed started, instincts took over.
Cortes, an OU signee, quickly dribbled down the court. The ball nearly slipped out of his own hands, as well, but he was able to get a layup.
Top-ranked Kingfisher downed No. 13 Blanchard 46-34 on Wednesday afternoon in the final Class 4A quarterfinal matchup. Cortes tallied 22 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, but his steal and layup was a microcosm of the Yellowjackets' victory. Even when everything seemed to be going Blanchard's way, Kingfisher and Cortes found a way to hold the Lions off.
"He's pretty special," Kingfisher coach Jared Reese said of Cortes. "Most of the teams who are playing this time of year, they have a player like him. He really showed up tonight in the fourth quarter."
Cortes finished with four assists, three rebounds, two blocks and a steal.
In Blanchard and Kingfisher's earlier meeting this season, the Yellowjackets (23-1) prevailed 91-52. Yet Wednesday, Blanchard was able to slow the pace down and stay close. Caleb Reed led Blanchard with 11 points.
Kingfisher will face Classen SAS at 9:30 a.m. Friday at State Fair Arena in the semifinals.
<@Italic>Cameron Jourdan, Staff writer<@$p>