Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Millwood fans slipped out of their courtside bleachers and lined the metal barrier as the seconds ticked down in the 3A state championship. When the clock reached zero, the Falcons celebrated their 14th state championship with a 48-40 win over the Hugo.
The Falcons and Buffaloes battled back and forth early on, realizing the stakes were high and that there was only one Gold Ball to hand out. Millwood took an early lead, setting a quick pace with high-pressure defense and potent offense.
That combination continued in the second quarter for the Falcons, and Millwood went into the break with a 23-14 lead.
Seeing their chances of winning the Class 3A state championship slip away, Hugo cut the deficit to four points at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Fast breaks were abundant in the final minutes, but the Falcons’ shots fell while the Buffaloes' did not. Hugo’s chances slimmed in the last two minutes, as Millwood pulled away.
A slip by the Buffaloes’ Patrick Smith left both teams’ players scrambling for the ball, but Millwood was given possession.
Millwood’s Delford Robinson held possession long enough to draw a foul from Smith. Robinson responded by making both of his free throws.
Robinson’s teammate, Michael Ervin, stole a Buffalo bounce pass and made an easy layup to push the Falcons ahead.
Hugo tried to rally back with a strong drive to the basket by Javon Jones, but the shot did not land and Buffalos could not recover.
Saturday’s scene epitomized the spirit of high school basketball championships. The fans from both teams passionately supported their respective players, students with painted faces were led by chanting cheerleaders, and the whistles were barely audible in the Big House.