– BY MICHAEL KNIGHT
Who: Booker T Washington VS Memorial
What: Class 5A Boys State Championship
When: Saturday – 1:45PM
Where: Mabee Center – Oral Roberts University
Part four of this great Tulsa rivalry will unfold with a state championship on the line. Booker T Washington and Memorial are quite familiar with one another. They played twice in regular season games and then again in the Tournament Of Champions. These players are also familiar with one another, playing together on the summer circuit. For the season, Memorial has a 2-1 advantage. They beat the Hornets 89-66 in the third place game of the TOC back in December. The two teams met again in early February for an overtime classic that the Hornets won. Later that week, Memorial would get the best of Booker T Washington in the BOK Showcase event. Booker T Washington is looking to make history, at the expense of their rival. They’re currently tied with Millwood for first in state history with 15 state championships. With a win, they’ll be all alone in first place.
TALE OF THE TAPE
BOOKER T WASHINGTON HORNETS
Championships: 15 (1973, 1977, 1981, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2010, 2011)
Road To Championship Saturday
Quarterfinals: Beat Carl Albert 86-82 (OT)
Semifinals: Beat Northwest Classen 77-71
If Booker T Washington captures their 16th state championship, they will have earned this one. The Hornets have faced the top three teams in Class 5A during their state tournament run. It started when they knocked off #3 Carl Albert in the quarterfinals. On Friday, they beat #2 Northwest Classen in the semifinals and now they get their shot at #1 Memorial. Coaches always say that whenever you make it to state, everyone you play is good, this run is on another level.
Player To Watch: Bryce Thompson – Guard
Booker T Washington sophomore guard Bryce Thompson is playing the best basketball of his young high school career right now. He scored 26 in their overtime victory over Carl Albert. He followed that up with 29 points against Northwest Classen before leaving the game with an ankle injury. He would return but would not score again. Thompson is on fire from the perimeter. He’s 11-16 from 3-point range in their two state tournament games.
Championships: 7 (1974, 1994, 2003, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2017)
Road To Championship Saturday
Quarterfinals: Beat Del City 68-55
Semifinals: Beat Lawton Eisenhower 85-56
Memorial is in the state championship game for the third consecutive year. Head coach Bobby Allison took over the Memorial program following the 2013 state championship. Since then, Memorial has made it to the title game, semifinals, title game, title game and title game. He’s won two state titles and the two state tourney losses were to Carl Albert, both coming on buzzer beater shots from the Titans. This has been a remarkable five-year run, that can’t be matched.
Player To Watch: Kalib Boone – Forward
While Booker T Washington’s Bryce Thompson is playing some of his best basketball right now, you can make the argument that Memorial junior forward Kalib Boone is as well. The big man has become a defensive star so far at state. Erasing any shot that comes near the rim. Boone is averaging 18 points, 13 rebounds and 5.5 blocked shots per game. He and twin brother Keylan are both dominating. Keylan is averaging 19 points and 10.5 rebounds.