A jam-packed, vocal crowd — aided by the control of several Claremore Police officers — witnessed Stilwell’s come-from-behind 57-51 win over Harrah Saturday night in the must-win game of the Class 4A Area Tournament at the Claremore High School Gymnasium.
The win over Harrah advanced Stilwell to the Class 4A State Tournament this Thursday through Saturday in Oklahoma City.
Stilwell will battle Fort Gibson in the state quarterfinals at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday at Yukon High School.
Stilwell’s journey to state included an impressive 59-40 win over Cascia Hall followed by a 73-47 romp over Inola Friday afternoon.
Coming out Saturday, though, Stilwell had battle throughout the second-half with 6-foot-8 senior post Matt Lea plagued by foul trouble.
Lea, who finished with 12 points, fouled out early in the fourth quarter with Stilwell trailing Harrah, 42-40.
Both teams gutted it out in the first half, and went into halftime tied at 26.
Stilwell, behind the hot shooting of Chase Littlejohn, rallied with 11 points in the third quarter to cut Harrah’s lead to 38-37.
Littlejohn and Brennan tallied 15 points each to lead Stilwell.
In the fourth quarter, Stilwell outscored Harrah, 20-13 to hang on and secure its trip to state.
Jennings led Harrah with 21 points.
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CLASS 4A State Quarterfinal Matchups
Yukon High School
* Oklahoma City Douglass vs. Tulsa McLain, 2 p.m.
* Victory Christian vs. Elk City, 3:30 p.m.
* Mannford vs. Anadarko, 7 p.m.
* Stilwell vs. Fort Gibson, 8:30 p.m.