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Prep parade: A look back at Oklahoma's thrilling high school basketball state tournaments

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El Reno's Merzedes Macias takes a 3-point shot to win the game as time expires near Lawton Eisenhower's Mikaela Hall during a Class 5A semifinal last week. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]
El Reno's Merzedes Macias takes a 3-point shot to win the game as time expires near Lawton Eisenhower's Mikaela Hall during a Class 5A semifinal last week. [Nate Billings/The Oklahoman]

Fifty high school basketball games were played in six days of state tournament action at State Fair Arena and the Mabee Center the past two weekends.

Championships were won, dreams were realized and drama unfolded in the non-stop action. The two weeks had it all.

And it’s time to look back on the tournaments that left a big mark on the history books. Here are five things — whether players, moments, feats or storylines — that stood out:

Super Friday

Semifinal Friday, whether at the Big House or Mabee Center, is day of excitement. Eight games, with the winners getting one step closer to a gold ball. They start at 9 a.m. and the final game begins 12 hours later.

And this season’s Class 6A and Class 5A semifinals may have been one of the best.

Seven of the eight games came down to late in the game. There was one incredible buzzer-beating shot by El Reno’s Merzedes Macias. There was even a Class 6A scoring record set by Putnam North’s Micah Thomas.

And the El Reno and Southmoore boys pushed eventual champions Tulsa Memorial and Tulsa Booker T. Washington to the brink of elimination.

A thrilling day indeed.

Power of twins

Two is better than one, especially for Tulsa Memorial’s boys and Seiling’s girls.

Two sets of twins led their teams to state championships, ending their high school careers in grand fashion.

Seiling opened with a girls record fourth straight Class A title behind Macy and Karly Gore. Both are four-year starters who lost just five games in their career.

Tulsa Memorial followed with Kalib and Keylan Boone leading the way to a third straight Class 5A title.

The best news may be that fans will still have a chance to watch the twins in college. The Gores are headed to ORU, while the Boones are headed to OSU.

D-Fense!

Kingfisher’s rise back to the top of Class 4A could have come from its offense behind a deep roster of talent. But it came from its defense.

The Yellowjackets completed dominated the state tournament while setting a record by allowing just 109 total points in three games.

Kingfisher held Elgin to 38, Holland Hall to 32 and powerful Heritage Hall to just 39 points, a season low for the Chargers.

Riding with Merzedes

El Reno girls coach Jennifer Douglas wasn’t sure her senior would get the shot off in time. Most people felt the same in the arena.

But Merzedes Macias never doubted the time on the clock. She calmly hit a 3-pointer, with the ball being released a split second before the buzzer, to send El Reno to the Class 5A title game.

It was the biggest shot of the tournament. And seeing it in person was even more thrilling.

To top that off, it was the lone field goal she made that day — her 18th birthday. No better way to celebrate.

By the numbers

44: Putnam North’s Micah Thomas reached that point total in the Class 6A semifinals, a Class 6A tournament record for a single game. His 107 total points also moved him to sixth all-time for a tournament.

16: Booker T. Washington’s win over Putnam North set a new state record for boys state titles, breaking a tie with Millwood.

8: Booker T. Washington junior Trey Phipps hit eight 3-pointers in the title game win over Putnam North, a new Class 6A state tournament record. His 42 points also set a Class 6A championship mark.

Jacob Unruh

Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the... Read more ›

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