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Oklahoma 5A girls basketball championship: McAlester earns first title since 2010 with 53-49 win against El Reno

Stevie Stinchchomb and Jayda Holiman combined to score 32 of McAlester's 53 points.
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By Nathan Aker I Photo by Carlos Flores 

NORMAN - Stevie Stinchchomb and Jayda Holiman ended their season as high school champions on Saturday night.

Behind a combined 32 points out of McAlester’s 53, Stinchcomb and Holiman paved the way to an exhilarating 53-49 5A championship victory against El Reno inside the Lloyd Noble Center in Norman.

"It feels great [to be a champion]," Stinchcomb said following her team’s first girls basketball championship since 2010. "But it doesn’t feel real, like it hasn’t set in yet."

The Lady Buffaloes began with a suffocating defensive effort in the opening quarter, limiting El Reno to just 23 percent throughout, but the Lady Indians’ Pauline Black-Harmon still powered through. 

The 5-foot-10 sophomore ended the first period with six points and six rebounds. But by the end of the half, she amassed 16 points and nine rebounds.

She finished the game with a double-double, posting 24 points and 14 rebounds for the Lady Indians.

But despite the big body in Black-Harmon for El Reno, Stinchcomb and the undersized Lady Buffaloes didn’t back down.

"Even though we’re little, (McAlester) coach Jarrod Owen) just knew we had a chance, and that means so much to us," Holiman said. "Anyone can do it, no matter what size."

McAlester didn’t shoot particularly well either, shooting just 27 percent from the field in the quarter despite nine points and three rebounds from Holiman.

Entering the second half up by one, 26-25, Stinchcomb came out with a different mentality.

"When we went into halftime, I was like, 'Stevie, you got to step up, this is it,'" said Stinchcomb, a senior. "In [my] high school career, (I) came this far, why would (I) give (that up)."

And she didn’t relinquish anything.

After shooting 57 percent from the field in the third, McAlester had to hang on for one more quarter to claim bragging rights.

Both Stinchcomb and Holiman came through down the stretch. Simply put, they were clutch.

Stinchcomb went 9-for-11 from the free throw stripe for the contest, and hit four immense free throws to bring out the victory.

But nearing the final seconds of the competition, Owen let them do their thing.

"We spent a lot of time learning how to do [motion offense]," Owen said. "So, it just goes with the flow of the game."

The Lady Buffaloes’ flow seemingly assisted them to the victory, crowning Stinchcomb and Holiman, among the other Lady Buffs, as state champs.

Holiman, a junior whose brother, Adante Holiman, will go on to compete with Texas Rio Grande Valley after playing for the McAlester boys team this season as a senior, will attempt to help lead the Lady Buffaloes to a repeat championship next season.

As for Stinchcomb, she plans to head north to Kansas and play for Emporia State.

"We’ve been wanting this all year, I mean all year." Jayda Holiman said.