EDMOND – Seminole made a big second half push against Tulsa Webster Thursday in a 61-51 loss at Edmond-Deer Creek in the Class 4A boys state quarterfinal game. The Chieftains trailed by as much as 17 early into the third.
“Man we fought hard,” coach Josh Edenborough said. “We fought hard, and that's the most important thing. And what a great atmosphere. Our fans traveled really well, we had a ton of students, we had a ton of community support. I'm disappointed that we couldn't get it done for them and I appreciate them coming all the way out here and taking care of us the way they do.”
Shemmario Stephens got the second half started right for the Chieftains with a putback, but 10 straight from the Warriors pushed out their lead to 41-24. Stephens finally stopped the bleeding with 4:40 remaining and Seminole went on a 16-5 run capped on a jumper at the line from Stephens to make it a 46-40 game going to the fourth.
Two free throw makes by Stephens made it a 4-point game, but the Chieftains were unable to close out the gap in the loss. Webster took the lead on the first basket of the game by David Ward and never gave up the advantage.
The biggest things, Edenborough said, were that Webster was able to get rebounds when they needed to, and when they needed a big play, they made it happen.
“That's what it's about in the state tournament, is which team can make the big plays,” he said. “I thought we did some things that during the game seemed like they weren't what we really were in the playoffs... I thought we took some shots that weren't quality us shots. And for the most part in the playoffs we'd taken mainly great we shots and not me shots.”
Seminole kept things close in the first quarter and Adam Nance made it a one possession game with 4:07 left but an 11-2 Webster run left the Chieftains trailing by 12 with 2:13 before the second. Nance landed a bucket and Kason Clark went to the line to finish an and-1 opportunity to make it a 20-13 game going to the second.
The Chieftains put in seven unanswered capped on a trey by Deyton Jackson on a dish from Nance to make it a 24-20 game with 4:42 left in the half. Webster rallied 7-2 as Anthony Pritchard put in a layup at the buzzer for the exclamation to give the Warriors a 31-22 lead at the halftime break.
Stephens ended the game with 21 points with 15 in the second half and Nance put up 14. Cepado Wilkins finished with six points and Clark had five. Jackson chipped in three and Trevor Brinker added two.
Ward led all scorers with 24 points, Pritchard had 15. Martwon Taylor had 11, Virgil Davis put in nine and Tojuan Pryor chipped in two.
Edenborough will have to watch six seniors move on after this season. The team was potentially once in a lifetime, he said, but they have now laid the groundwork for the future.
“they really laid the foundation for us moving forward as to what is expected and we're going to try to carry on their legacy,” he said.
Edenborough is proud of his guys for fighting to make it to the state tournament after not being pegged as a contender before the start of the season.
“At the beginning of the year I don't think much people outside of Seminole would have thought we'd have been here and we fought like crazy and we had a chance to win it and that's all I can ask,” he said.