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Oklahoma 5A boys semifinals: Midwest City gets title shot after edging crosstown rival Carl Albert

Tulsa Booker T. Washington shuts down Crossings Christian's perimeter game to advance

NORMAN, OKLAHOMA - Midwest City has been out to prove they are a serious team that can contend for a state championship.

That respect may finally be coming. 

After defeating cross-town rival Carl Albert, 56-54, Friday in the 5A semifinals, the Bombers have earned an opportunity to play for a title, which has been their ultimate goal.

“It is amazing,” the Bombers' Roy Henderson said. “It is a real moment when you are out there. It's just like the bright lights are on; so, it's like the job's not done. Let's get one more.”

However, their victory didn’t come easy. Carl Albert, who made it to the title game last year, was doing its best to upset the top seed at Lloyd Noble Center.

Midwest City held a 41-40 lead heading into the fourth quarter. But with 5:49 left In the game, the Titans' Jayden Hopkins knotted the score at 43-all.

The two teams kept exchanging blows for the rest of the contest. With the Bombers leading 46-45, Bryan Williams drained a 3-pointer before Carl Albert's Quincy Hopkins answered with a driving layup.

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Deshawn Denson put MWC on top, 51-47, before the Titans missed three shots on the same possession. Midwest City got the rebound and called a time out with 1:37 on the clock.

Carl’Sheon Young was fouled and made both free throw attempts to go up by six. Unfortunately for the Titans, Marcus James missed a pair from the charity stripe on the ensuing possession.

However, after Carl Albert forced a turnover, James was able to score on an offensive rebound and putback to close the gap to four, 53-49, with just 50 seconds left.

With the Bombers leading 55-51, Carl Albert’s Steven Anderson was fouled attempting a 3-pointer. He made all three attempts and closed the deficit to one, 55-54, with just five seconds left.

The Titans fouled Denson, who went to the line and made 1-of-2. After missing the second, Carl Albert had time for only a desperation heave that was off the mark.

“Just playing across the town rival like that in a win or go home game, it's a great feeling," Denson said. "The student section was into it. It's all good.”

Young paced the Bombers with 16 points while Denson added 15 points and three steals. Henderson and Willaims each scored 10 in the win.

Bombers’ coach Torey Noel said their ability to not have to depend on one or two main scorers makes them a difficult matchup.

“We’re very dangerous. It'll be hard to scout us,” Noel said. “You just never know who's going to get going.”

Midwest City will face Tulsa Booker T. Washington in the 5A championship game Saturday at 2 p.m. They have not faced off this season, but Henderson sees the Hornets as a mirror image of the Bombers.

“They play just like us,” Henderson said. “They want to speed you up and we just have got to come into the game just ready to win.”

Tulsa Booker T. Washington 63, Crossings Christian 56

It wasn’t pretty, but the Hornets were able to gut out a victory over the Knights Friday at Lloyd Noble Center with three players scoring in double figures,

With their pressure defense, Tulsa Washington shut down Crossings Christian’s perimeter game. The Knights made just 2-of-13 shots from 3-point range.

If not for the play of sophomore Phoenix Woodson, the Knights would not have been competitive. Woodson finished with 25 points on 12-of-20 shooting. Evan Crotts added 14 points and six boards.

While neither team shot free throws well, it was the Knights' empty trips to the line that hurt their chances of a comeback in the second half. They finished the game making 10-of-16 from the line.

Conversely, BTW made 19 of its 26 attempts.

Issac Sanders, Jamarri Simpson and Barron Harris each scored 13 points for the Hornets. Jaques Mitchell added 9 points and five assists.

-- Michael Kinney | @SBLiveOK