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Originally posted March 5, 2012
6A boys basketball: Undefeated Union wins triple OT thriller over Booker T. Washington
Union celebrates after defeating Booker T. Washington on Friday in a 6A area final in Sapulpa. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World
BY BARRY LEWIS Tulsa World Sports Writer
(Reprinted with Permission. This is not an endorsement.)
SAPULPA - If Union goes on to win the Class 6A state title with an undefeated record, Sedrick Johnson's tying 3-pointer at the end of the first overtime on Friday night will go down as one of the most important shots in the Redskins' basketball history.
Johnson scored 27 points, including the game-extending 3, to propel top-ranked Union to a 74-70, triple-overtime victory over No. 5 Booker T. Washington in the Class 6A area tournament final at the Chieftain Center.
"It was a desperation shot," said Johnson, who sank two free throws with 2.8 seconds left in the third overtime to seal the victory.
Union (26-0), which saw a 33-17 halftime lead slip away, advances to next week's state tournament in Tulsa while the Hornets (22-3) will face No. 16 Bixby for a state berth at 8 p.m. Saturday at Broken Arrow. Jacob Bittle scored 26 points to lead Bixby past No. 15 Stillwater 48-46 in an elimination game.
"Our kids just kept digging down and never gave up," Union coach Rudy Garcia said. "It's a senior bunch and they have a will not to lose."
Johnson, a 6-foot-1 senior guard who averages eight points, had his best game of the season before a capacity crowd that included Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger.
"Here at the end of the season, Sed has really elevated his game," Garcia said. "He's been looking to score and we know he's capable of hitting those shots."
Juwan Parker paced the Hornets with 28 points and Kevin Sims, who moved from Union, scored 19. Sims had 11 points in the third quarter to spark the Hornets' rally.
Union led 51-45 before the Hornets scored the last six points of regulation, capped by Parker's steal and two free throws with 56 seconds left. Sims had a chance to win it but missed a 20-footer as time expired.
When Parker opened the first overtime with a free throw, the Hornets led for the first time. Parker scored five and Phabian Glasco added four points in the first OT. Glasco's two free throws gave the Hornets a 60-57 lead with 11 seconds left.
Johnson wasn't the first option to shoot the tying trey.
"We wanted to get the ball to J.C. (Hartzler)," said Johnson, referring to Union's top scorer. "But there was a man on his hip and I just went by him to the (left) corner."
Johnson scored all four of Union's points in the second OT, but Sims tied it at 64 with a basket off a steal with 20 seconds remaining. In the third OT, Johnnie Gillum scored six of his 13 points for Union. Tim Stromberg's basket snapped a 66-66 tie and the Redskins weren't caught again.
"We don't play a lot of these type of games and I got to see another side of our team that I liked tonight," Hornets coach Shea Seals said. "We showed a lot of resiliency. Union is tough and we kept fighting. I am glad the fans enjoyed it. It was a good game."
Bixby 48, Stillwater 46: Bittle scored 15 in the second half as the Spartans (18-8) rallied from a 26-17 deficit.
"We are so lucky to beat Stillwater if you look at the balance of the game," Bixby coach Scott Padek said. "At the start of the third quarter we looked at times where we were looking for it to end, which really concerned me, but Jacob was real good keeping us going."
Bixby's Sean Young had six of his 11 points in the final period, including the basket that broke a 42-42 tie with 2:14 left.
"Sean probably had the greatest stretch of his career," Padek said.
Bittle, who had made eight consecutive free throws, missed two with 12 seconds left, but grabbed the defensive rebound after the Pioneers (16-9) missed a last-second, 10-foot shot.
UNION 74, B.T. WASHINGTON 70, 3 OT
BTW 7 10 20 14 9 4 6 - 70
Union 17 16 10 8 9 4 10 - 74
B.T. Washington (22-3): Parker 28, Sims 19, Glasco 12, Brantley 5, Hairston 4, Armstrong 2.
Union (26-0): Johnson 27, Gillum 13, Hartzler 12, Hager 11, Stromberg 6, Leonard 5.
BIXBY 48, STILLWATER 46
Bixby 6 10 9 23 - 48
Stillwater 8 8 15 15 - 46
Bixby (18-8): Bittle 26, Young 11, Wright 4, Jennings 3, Pivnarik 2, Solomon 2.
Stillwater (16-9): Holcomb 14, Killam 10, Thompson 9, Littell 6, Murrell 6, Teel 1.