Class 2A boys championship game
OCS dominates Washington to win third straight gold ball
By Kevin Farr | March 11, 2006
STATE FAIR ARENA � What is considered a dynasty by today�s athletic standards? Three championships in a row? How about four? Maybe five or six in a decade? It�s not entirely clear what exactly qualifies as a dynasty or how a team rises to such lofty heights.
Tournament MVP Blake Griffin ignites the OCS student section with a third quarter dunk.
But the Oklahoma Christian School boys are headed in the right direction.
On Saturday, Coach Tommy Griffin�s squad won its third consecutive state title on the hardwood with a convincing 57-40 win over Washington for the Class 2A boys state championship. It�s also the Edmond school�s fourth title in the past five seasons and there�s plenty talk of more on the horizon. The first three came in Class 3A.
�We�re not finished,� junior standout and tournament MVP Blake Griffin said after Saturday�s victory. �We have a great tradition and we want to build a dynasty here at OCS.�
Consider that a work in progress for Griffin and company, who admittedly did not get off to the start they had hoped in the title contest.
Griffin finished with a game-high 22 points and was too much of an obstacle on both ends of the court for Washington to overcome.
OCS appeared complacent at times offensively in the opening stanza, but lethargically built a commanding 12-3 advantage after one period on the strength of a tremendous defense, which held the Warriors to just one field goal in eight first quarter attempts.
Senior guard Eric Johnson.
The Saint offense then kicked into gear a bit in the second stanza and OCS was off and running on the way to that third consecutive state championship. �I just didn�t think we played very smart at first,� Coach Griffin said. �We weren�t doing the things we had talked about in our shoot-around. We just didn�t come out with our focus right offensively, but our defense and rebounding kept us in it.
�We started to get things turned around in the second quarter.�
Defense and rebounding were most definitely the key factors for OCS, which had an ample advantage in size and strength on the court. The Saints had monster efforts in both categories.
Washington managed 42-percent shooting from the field, but five of the Warriors� 14 field goals came in the final stanza when the game was no longer in doubt. The Warriors also managed a miniscule amount of just 10 rebounds for the game while OCS cleaned up on the glass, cashing in seven times off of offensive boards.
After a jumper by Tyler Hancock tied the score at 2-2 just 1:36 into the contest, Washington�s offense disappeared, going almost eight minutes without another field goal. It was during that time that OCS began to extend the margin.
Tanner Roberson holds Washington's runner-up trophy. The Warriors also finished as the runner-up in football.
The Warriors closed to within seven at 21-14 on three Tanner Roberson baskets but couldn�t get any closer. The Saints led 27-14 at intermission and pushed that margin to 44-22 after three periods.
Washington had no answer for the 6-9 Blake Griffin inside as the talented leader hit eight of 12 field goal attempts, all six free throws, pulled down nine rebounds and blocked six shots. �We knew we had an advantage inside and our focus was to exploit it,� the Oklahoma Christian coach added. �Blake did a good job of keeping his composure even though he was getting pushed, shoved and harassed down low all night. That�s just part of the game though and he stayed mentally tough.
�He�s got a world of potential that hasn�t even been reached yet.�
That�s a pretty big statement, considering the post dominance of the junior, which helped result in four crowd-pleasing dunks during the contest.
Blake Griffin wasn�t alone, however, as senior Tyler Phillips had another solid effort, despite not hitting a single three-pointer. He finished with 13 points while Tucker Phillips added 10.
Despite being undersized in the paint, 6-3 junior Tyler Simmons did a tremendous job for the Warriors, ending with a team-high 13 points. The eighth ranked Warriors (20-10) have nothing to hand their heads about. The team finished a tremendous postseason run that marked the program�s first championship game appearance.
Senior Tyler Phillips hoists OCS' sixth gold ball.
Washington � much like everyone else in 2A � just didn�t match up well with the Saints. It was the second lopsided loss the Warriors suffered at the hands of OCS in the playoffs, falling 61-42 in a regional finals meeting.
Now the focus for the Saints heads to next year, where Blake Griffin returns to spearhead another talented cast that has to be considered the favorite for another crown, regardless of the classification. �We had four really special seniors that meant a lot to our program this year,� Coach Griffin said. �Those guys are going to be tough to replace cause they had such great character and are all great kids.
�We�ll definitely have to tweak some things a bit, but we definitely look forward to the challenge.�
And that challenge at OCS is joining McGuinness (1998-2001), Tulsa Washington (1984-1987), Millwood (1978-1981) and Star Spencer (1976-1979) as the only teams to ever win four consecutive gold balls.