CNHI News Service
Aaron Young picked the perfect time to be a hero. The Edmond Memorial senior waited for the moment his team needed him the most before he hit the biggest shot of his career and helped the Bulldogs pull out a 53-50 double overtime victory over Owasso Friday in the Class 6A state semifinals at the Mabee Center.
“It was crazy,” Edmond’s Shaquille Morris said. “Unbelievable. I never expected two overtimes with Owasso. But they are a real good team and I’m just glad we pulled it out.”
The ’Dogs will play for a state title at 7:45 p.m. Saturday.
At times, it looked like the Bulldogs were just playing not to lose instead of going for the win. That included just holding onto the ball the final 1:49 of the second overtime with the game tied at 50-50.
But with 10 seconds left on the clock, Young made his move. He was going to pass it to Jordan Woodard, who was posted up near the paint. However, when coach Shane Cowherd told Young to take it himself, that was all he needed to hear. He drove to the 3-point line, and threw up a shot that was all net with just a couple of seconds left. The Rams were unable to get a shot off before time expired.
“I looked up at the clock and there was six seconds left,” Young said. “I just heard coach say take it. It was kind of crowded around so I just pulled up. It was my first game-winner ever.”
Morris, who was camped out under the basket, had the best view of the entire play.
“When I saw the clock going down, I was sitting down under the rim going please attack the rim, do something with it,” Morris said. “When he shot it, I was just thinking tip back. It went in and I just looked at it as it rolled out the net. It was just perfect.”
Morris may have not hit the game winner, but he kept his Bulldogs in the game with 15 points and 17 rebounds. That includes 8 offensive boards. Tyler Holcomb added 15 points and Young finished with 8.
The Rams were paced by Jaylen Lowe, who had 22 points. Shake Milton added 15 points and eight rebounds. The two combined to hit 6-for-11 from 3-point range.
“I think it was a microcosm of our entire season,” Owasso coach Mark Vancuren said. “These guys have given every ounce of ability they have from the beginning of our season starting back with the first game against Union until now. I think these guys have given the maximum they can give. I am proud of them. You’re 1.4 seconds away from triple overtime. Very close.”
Owasso and Edmond traded blows and leads throughout the first three quarters and went into the fourth period tied at 32-32.
With the Rams playing zone to keep the ball away from Morris, it allowed Holcomb to get several good looks from behind the arc and for Sam Kreutzer to drive into the lane for lay-ups.
Whatever shots the Bulldogs missed, Morris was there to clean up the mess. That included Holcomb missing a fastbreak layup and Morris flying in from nowhere to put it back in with a dunk. That gave the ’Dogs a 40-34 lead with 2:30 left.
The Dogs held a 42-38 advantage after Woodard threw an alley-oop dunk to Morris with 1:50 left in the game. But Milton came down and hit a 3-pointer to close the lead to one point.
After Woodard hit a free throw, the Rams’ Michael Anderson came back with a layup with 48 seconds left to tie game at 43-43. Edmond had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Woodard’s off-balance shot was off the mark.
The game was tied 46-46 in overtime before Adrian Ellis hit a pair of free throws for Owasso. Tyler Holcomb missed a 3-point attempt, but Morris tipped it back in to tie the game.
Owasso held for a final shot, but Milton lost the ball. This gave the ’Dogs another shot to end the contest. Woodard’s shot was off, but Morris got to it first. He put it back up before the buzzer sounded, however, the ball trickled off the rim, sending the game into double overtime tied at 48-48.
“I think it shows our resiliency,” Young said. “Down by seven at halftime. We’ve been in these games before. I think it shows our strength and heart.”
For the second straight year, the Bulldogs will play for a state championship at 7:45 p.m. Saturday. Last year they let the title slip out of their grasp. They do not plan to make the same mistake again.
“I’m going to have it all in the tank,” Morris said. “Something you guys have never seen before. I am going to give it my all.”