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Oklahoma City Douglass holds off Weatherford rally to claim 4A boys championship

Terry McMorris goes for 20 points, 14 rebounds as Trojans claim 11th state title

By Glen Brockenbush | Photos/Video by George Mitchell

OKLAHOMA CITY - Billed as a clash between two of the best teams in perhaps the deepest class in the state, the Class 4A boys state championship game served as the grand finale at the State Fairgrounds on Championship Saturday. 

It didn’t disappoint.

Oklahoma City Douglass led by as many as 18 early in the third quarter, before Weatherford went on a frantic rally in the second half and got the game to within a point in the final minute. But the Eagles’ attempts at game-winners didn’t fall, and Douglass survived for a 48-44 victory to claim the program’s 11th state championship in boys basketball.

“For us, for me personally, I feel gratification,” Douglass coach Steve Alexander said. “These guys work their butt off, day-in and day-out. We have support from our alumni, our community, consistently, (Oklahoma City Public Schools), so for us, it’s huge.”

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The matchup was highly anticipated for many reasons. It featured some of the state’s best players in Douglass’ Terry McMorris and Weatherford’s C.J. Nickson. The teams entered with a combined record of 53-2. 

But the two teams also brought contrasting styles to the "Big House." Weatherford often preferred to slow the game down. Meanwhile, Douglass had just played a Kingfisher team that took the Trojans out of their rhythm by slowing the pace in the previous day’s semifinal, which Douglass won in overtime, 31-29. 

“We felt like, with Weatherford being a good team when they slow it down, when they get it inside, they’re very hard to stop,” Alexander said. “So we felt our best chance was to hop on them early so we could speed the game up.”

The first quarter was played more at Douglass’ pace, and the Trojans finished the quarter up by five points, having held Nickson in check for the most part. Thanks to the 6-foot-7 McMorris and 6-6 Jace Breath, Douglass was controlling the boards, while simultaneously avoiding fouls (only two team fouls in the first half).

Douglass led by three points with a couple of minutes left in the half. That’s when Davon Scott hit a 3, followed by a steal and bucket from Landry Ballard Jr.

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An empty Weatherford possession allowed for a basket from McMorris, plus a foul (and made free throw). James Greenhoward ended the first half with a 3-pointer, as the Trojans were up 33-17 after scoring the last 13 points of the half.

They scored the first bucket of the third quarter as well, making it a 15-0 run total, and giving the Trojans a 35-17 lead. That remained the score for nearly two-and-a-half minutes, but when Nickson hit a 3-pointer just before the midway mark of the quarter, it cut the lead to 12.

But when Nickson picked up his fourth personal foul, it seemed like the Eagles were walking on thin ice.

However, Weatherford began to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter, going on a 13-2 run. Douglass was called for traveling on back-to-back possessions, sandwiched around a Nickson 3-pointer.

Nickson hit a jumper to make it a single-digit deficit once again. And after a missed shot by the Trojans, Ethan Sage hit a 3-ball for the Eagles, cutting the lead to five, 41-36, with 4:35 left.

Even with a Trojans' basket on the other end, the Eagles still couldn’t miss, with Tate Sage hitting a jumper to make it a five-point game again.

A put-back by McMorris put Douglass up 45-38, before a foul call sent Nate Reherman to the line for Weatherford. He hit one of two free throws to make it a six-point game with three minutes left.

Tate Sage then hit another 3-ball to make it a three-point game with less than two minutes to go. Then, needing a stop, Weatherford was able to get a five-seconds closely guarded call against Breath, giving the Eagles the ball with 1:30 left.

Nickson got the ball at the top of the key and shot an off-balance 3-pointer, but the shot only caught backboard, and the rebound attempt by Ethan Sage went out of bounds.

The Eagles fouled and sent Breath to the line. His first attempt missed, and the Eagles got the ball back in the hands of Nickson, whose put-back on his own missed shot cut the lead to one.

Another foul sent Douglass to the line, but another missed free throw attempt gave the ball right back to Weatherford with 21.6 seconds to go.

A 3-point attempt was off and the ensuing rebound went to the Trojans. A personal foul plus a technical foul on the Eagles gave Douglass four consecutive free-throw attempts.

By potentially making the game-clinching foul shots, Douglass was three seconds away from their first state title in six years.

“We’ve been doing a little extra work at the free-throw line in practice,” Alexander said. "We talked about being able to seal the deal when you’re right there, and the door is there to be shut, and you have the chance to do something special.”

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Ballard hit the first two to make it 47-44. But with an attempt to ice it, he missed the next two.

Still, the technical gave Douglass the ball right back, and Greenhoward sank one of the foul shots to give the Trojans the edge they needed to finish off the four-point victory.

McMorris finished the game with 20 points and 14 rebounds. He had previously won a state championship in 2021, as a sophomore at Del City, but said finishing his career with a gold ball feels extra special.

“This one’s better,” McMorris said with a smile. “It’s my last year, so this one’s better.”

For Weatherford, Nickson finished with 20 points and nine rebounds. Although this season ended in disappointment, the Eagles expect to be back again, with the entire team returning.

Similarly, outside of McMorris and Breath, the entire roster returns for the Trojans next year, meaning this championship might not be a one-off.

“We worked really, really hard and we’re really grateful for this,” McMorris said. "And they’re gonna get it next year, too.”