Del City ‘earned every bit’ of crown
TULSA — A swarm of Eagles collapsed in the lane as Sean Pedulla drove toward the basket.
The senior at Edmond Memorial was looking for a shot to put the Bulldogs ahead with less than 10 seconds left in the Class 6A state championship game. He rose for a layup but met Del City senior Keyondre Young in the air, forcing him to adjust his shot.
It didn’t matter.
Sophomore Brandon Garrison came over to assist with help defense and sent the shot back, and Del City was awarded possession after a jump ball. Senior Sherrod Davis knocked down two free throws, and Memorial had a shot at the buzzer to tie, but it fell short.
Second-ranked Del City topped No. 1 Memorial 47-44 on Saturday night at Oral Roberts’ Mabee Center. The contest was back-and-forth throughout, but Del City’s Javeon McCalister made a floater with 21.5 seconds left to put the Eagles ahead for good. It is the second state title in program history.
“I just saw it was open, so I took the lane,” McCalister said. “When we needed it, I knocked it down.”
Del City (22-4 overall) led by five entering the fourth quarter, but Memorial started on a 13-4 run to go up 42-38. Then Young, who scored a game-high 26 points, hit a deep 3 to make it a one-point contest.
Sean Pedulla made Memorial’s final bucket with 1:53 left on a tough layup. Then Young made a jumper that was the last basket before McCalister’s game winner.
“These guys have been through a lot,” Del City coach Lenny Hatchett said. “They have worked and worked, and we found a way.”
Del City dominated in the first quarter while Memorial returned the favor in the second. Pedulla, who tallied 18 points on the night, scored 12 points in the first half as the Bulldogs (17-2) went to the locker room with a 25-21 lead.
Del City outscored Memorial 13-4 in the third quarter. Young scored nine in the period and was lock down defensively.
“It hasn’t set in yet,” Young said. “I know it’s going to hit me tomorrow.”
It’s also the first championship for Hatchett.
Last season, Del City was the favorite in Class 5A before the tournament was canceled. After losing two dynamic guards, the Eagles struggled and started the year 6-4. Then the Eagles went on a 16-game win streak to end the season.
Their last loss? 59-57 to Edmond Memorial on Jan. 9.
“We finally came out in the second half and just cleaned up a few things defensively,” Hatchett said. “They made some big plays, but you’ve gotta give credit to our guys. They earned every, every bit of it.”