It wasn’t the way Tiger fans envisioned, but as Coach Beau Wallace pointed out after the 58-49 Class 6A State Championship loss to Edmond North, there has been only one other Broken Arrow Tiger team to “get this far.”
“I just told them I’m proud of them,” Wallace said after his Tigers endured only their second loss of the season. And this one was on the biggest stage of Oklahoma high school basketball. “This was still just a special moment. We just came up short today. You would still rather be here than home.”
The Tigers led the entire game until the shots stopped falling. Broken Arrow scored just eight points in the third quarter 36-35 on a pair of Husky free throws. The Tigers last lead was 37-36 with 4:31 to play on a penetrating bucket from Justice Sutton.
“The ball didn’t fall in the hole,” Wallace simplified the third and fourth quarters. In the final period, after a three from Connor Dow moved BA to within one, 47-46, the Tigers didn’t score again until Dow hit another three with 41 seconds left to play. By that time the game was out of reach and Edmond North put in the game’s final two points from the free throw line to account for the 58-49 final.
“They were a little more aggressive and got some free throws we didn’t get,” Wallace said. “They got some balls to go in and we got some that just rolled around that didn’t go in. Things just didn’t go our way.”
Early on it looked as if the things would go Broken Arrow’s way. The Tigers won the tip and after the teams traded threes in the first minute of the game, BA zipped to a 13-5 lead thanks to a 10-2 run. Two Tiger turnovers resulted in consecutive baskets for Edmond North as the Huskies cut the lead to 13-9 at the end of the first.
Two Husky free throws trimmed the margin to two to start the second quarter. Broken Arrow used an 9-2 run to open a 22-14 lead and forced an Edmond North timeout with 5:48 to play until half. Following that time out the Huskies shortened the Tiger lead to 22-19. Broken Arrow used another run, this one 8-2, to go up 30-21. North outscored the Tigers 6-2 to create the 32-28 halftime score.
Broken Arrow finished the season 27-2.