OKLAHOMA CITY — Early in the fourth quarter Saturday of the Class 4A girls state title game, Fort Gibson appeared in good shape to win its fifth gold ball in 11 years.
But after Fort Gibson’s Jordan Gann tied the game at 36 with two free throws, Tuttle scored 17 of the game’s final 19 points to come away with its first basketball state title, 53-38, at State Fair (Jim Norick) Arena.
Landry Allen led No. 3 Tuttle (25-4) with 17 points and seven rebounds while Gann and Graci Shieldnight paced No. 5 Fort Gibson (21-4) with 13 points each.
Fort Gibson, which was a state qualifier for the 17th consecutive season, was in its ninth state final since 2006 while Tuttle had never played in a championship game. Tuttle avenged a 56-31 loss to Fort Gibson in the 2018 quarterfinals — that was Tuttle’s first state berth in 35 years.
“We’ve been here a lot,” Fort Gibson coach Chuck London said. “Fortunately you win some and unfortunately you lose some. When you lose it hurts and it’s very tough, but give (Tuttle) credit.”
Gann opened the fourth quarter with a layup that gave Fort Gibson a 34-33 lead. Tuttle’s Storie Driver answered with a 3 and then Gann made her tying free throws.
Tuttle’s Hadley Periman made 1-of-2 free throws to start a 13-0 run. Allen followed with two free throws, Madi Surber scored off a steal and Periman followed with a three-point play for a 44-36 lead. Lexie Foutch’s layup with 1:23 left ended Fort Gibson’s five-minute scoring drought, but by then Tuttle was ahead 49-38.
London said he was confident about his team’s chances going into the fourth quarter because his team had “played our best basketball at the right time,” and “we were right where we needed to be.
“A couple of plays went against us and got them momentum, and we had trouble scoring.”
Tuttle shot 56% on 14-of-25 from the field compared to Fort Gibson’s 35% on 10-of-29.
What will London remember most about his team this season?
“The work ethic and toughness they displayed,” London said. “What I take mostly is the heart and the grit our team displayed.”
Tuttle 53, Fort Gibson 38
THS 11 12 10 20 — 53
FGHS 9 11 12 6 — 38
Tuttle: Allen 17, Surber 11, Skaggs 10, Periman 9, Rehl 4, Wilson 1.
Fort Gibson: Gann 13, Shieldnight 13, Foutch 6, Whiteley 6.