Terry Scott began his 22-year stint as Central's head boys basketball coach with a victory in his first playoff game in 1987 after a two-win regular season, and he went on to eventually win three state titles.
Aaron Daniels, who played on the last of Scott's state champions in 2006, is starting out on a similar path in his first season as Central's head coach.
After a two-win regular season, Central rallied from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter Monday night for a 50-49 win over host Berryhill in a Class 4A playoff opener at C.C. Ogilvie Gymnasium.
With Scott in attendance at his first basketball game of the season after attending the Braves' last two practices, Caylen Goff-Brown led Central (3-11) as he scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, including the tiebreaking free throw with 10.8 seconds left.
Goff-Brown also blocked Berryhill's final shot in the last seconds as the Braves ended their 10-game losing streak with their first win since Dec. 10.
"It just feels good to be back on that (winning) side again," Daniels said. "Anybody who has been paying attention to basketball in the city of Tulsa know that we've been stinking up the joint. It's been tough sledding for a bunch of different reasons, which we're not going to make excuses for, but we've been preaching to our guys the last few days, every team at this point is 0-0, no matter what we did one or two months ago, we all start the playoffs with a clean slate and we embraced that.
"We hit some adversity against a good Berryhill team on the road, one of the better atmosphere we've been able to have this year. We got down but we never quit. We just kept swinging at it and we feel great about winning a game. All of our guys collectively are starting to believe how good they actually are."
Dawson James scored 18 points to lead Berryhill (7-7), which led 42-28 going into the fourth.
The Braves, however, stormed back. Goff-Brown's second 3 of the fourth cut Central's deficit to 48-44. Carmelo Davis' three-point play tied it at 49 with 1:26 remaining. After Central came up with a defensive stop, the Braves held the ball for more than a minute before Goff-Brown was fouled and he made the second of two free throws that gave the Braves their only lead.
Berryhill jumped out to a 9-1 lead, was ahead 27-16 at intermission as Goff-Brown missed much of the second quarter with three fouls, and was in control most of the night before Central's comeback.
Central 38, Berryhill 34 (girls)
Montay Davis nearly doubled her season average with 16 points – all after the first quarter – and Adrianna Brinkley added 13 with four 3s to lead the Lady Braves (6-10), who won a playoff game for the first time since 2009.
“It’s a big win for us, I’m emotional,” said Jimmie Walker III, in his first season as Central’s coach. “My girls have fought hard all year, we’ve been through a lot. We’re going to keep fighting.”
Central never trailed, but there were four first-half ties and the Lady Braves never led by more than nine – 26-17 after an 8-0 run – midway through the third quarter. Davis scored 10 in the second half and sank two key free throws with 1:25 left.
Central's boys and girls will host Tuesday's Oklahoma City Douglass/Classen SAS winner in the regionals Thursday night. Berryhill's boys and girls will play the Douglass/Classen losers Thursday afternoon at Central.
Brinkley opened the scoring with the first of her three first-quarter treys. Davis’ driving basket gave Central a 17-15 lead going into halftime.
Callie Scott paced the Maidens (5-7) with 10 points and Addie Coon scored nine on three 3s.
Central 50, Berryhill 49
Central (3-11): Goff-Brown 20, Davis 11, Williams 8, James 4, McBee 3, Edmundson 2, Love 1, Stewart 1.
Berryhill (7-7): D.James 18, Dotson 13, Thapa 8, Stevens 6, Alexander 3, Knight 1.
Central 38, Berryhill 34 (girls)
Central (6-10): Davis 16, Brinkley 13, Smith 6, Nicoe Knighten 3.
Berryhill (5-7): Scott 10, Coon 9, Alexander 6, Gibson 3, Inhofe 2, Winningham 2, Craig 1, Johnson 1.
Who is Mr. Outside? Vote now
It’s time to decide who is Mr. Outside in Tulsa-area high school basketball. Here are our selections for the best 15 boys who play closer to the 3-point line. From today through 3 p.m. March 4, fans can vote for their favorites. We’ll unveil the winners — one per day — beginning March 8.
Who is Mr. Inside? Vote now
It’s time to decide who is Mr. Inside in Tulsa-area high school basketball. Here are our selections for the best 15 boys who play closer to the basket. From today through 3 p.m. March 4, fans can vote for their favorites. We’ll unveil the winners — one per day — beginning March 8.