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Oklahoma 4A boys basketball championship: Kingfisher wins third straight 4A title as Yellowjackets hold off Victory Christian, 51-43

It was a battle of the No. 1 and No. 2 teams.

By Ross Lovelace

OKLAHOMA CITY - In Saturday's 4A state championship, it was No. 1 vs No. 2 in the finals, as Kingfisher and Victory Christian squared off for the first time all season.

The Yellowjackets prevailed, proving they deserved the unanimous No. 1 ranking all season long, suffocating Victory Christian in the second half and coming out on top, 51-43, at State Fair Arena.

"It’s a whole different feeling winning it as a senior," said Kingfisher senior Chase Davis. "To be able to contribute and help this team. … It's an amazing feeling."

Xavier Ridenour led Kingfisher with 15 points, while Davis netted 14 and four 3-pointers. Ridenour also had three assists and made winning plays all night, including drawing a change down the stretch in the fourth quarter.

For Victory Christian, Joshua Udoumoh led the way with 19 points. Udoumoh was an efficient 7-of-14 from the floor. Luke Patton also helped with 11 points and six rebounds.

In the first half, it was the same brand of basketball fans have seen from the Yellowjackets all year long: Patient, not forcing anything.

Davis, who has a phenomenal stretch of state tournament games, drilled two first-half triples and added 11 total points over the first two quarters. He led Kingfisher in scoring the entire night, and drew plenty of attention from the defense.

Udoumoh led the way for the Conquerors, adding eight points and three boards in the first half. He drilled a late triple, too, to propel the Victory offense into halftime.

With just under a minute left in the second quarter, Jax Sternberger nailed a momentum 3 from the corner, keeping Kingfisher within striking distance.

After leading for a majority of the half, the Victory Christian lead was at 25-23 heading into the break. 

In the third quarter, Kingfisher started to implement its signature style of play.

As a team, the Yellowjackets are so good at wearing the opponent down and forcing them to make the mistake. Then, in the second half, they strike.

Victory Christian was able to hold strong in the third quarter behind Udoumoh’s fancy finishes. He had back-to-back up-and-unders in the third quarter to keep the Conquerors in the game.

Udoumoh and Ridenour exchanged third-quarter buckets, including back-to-back 3's with 1:05 left in the frame, giving Victory a 35-33 lead.

With 5:18 left in the fourth quarter, Davis was freed up at the top of the key and let another 3 fly. Once again, he found the bottom of the net, helping Kingfisher regain the lead, 38-37.

Once Kingfisher gains any sort of lead, its hard to get it back. With 3:50 left, the Yellowjackets went on the most important run of the game.

They ran a successful lob play to Caden Kitchens, followed by a steal and score. Kitchens finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.

"We just stuck to our principles," said Davis. "We pride ourselves with defense, so when (Kitchens) started heating up, we just did what we worked on in our practices."

Suddenly, Kingfisher led 44-37. With 1:25 left in the game, the score had stayed the same for well over two minutes and Kingfisher was able to ice the game down the stretch with free throws.

This marks three straight state championships for the Yellowjackets.

"The keys to victory (Saturday) were rebounds and turnovers," said Davis. "Turnovers late led to us getting a lead, and we then maintained it down the stretch."