DEL CITY — March Madness came early for both Claremore Christian basketball teams.
The Warrior boys completed their improbable Cinderella run, defeating Liberty Academy 66-60 to win the HCAA Class 1A state championship at Christian Heritage Academy's Jim Elliott Memorial Gymnasium in Del City on Saturday afternoon.
CCS, seeded 10th of 13 teams in the tournament, entered the playoffs with a 1-12 record but rattled off five-straight wins to claim the title.
Logan Picolett, a freshman, led all scorers with 30 points and 5 rebounds. Aiden Phillips, a sophomore, added 14 points and 3 boards.
Caleb Ekedal, a senior, and sophomore Peyton Abbott each tallied 9 points. Ekedal also pulled down 11 rebounds.
Ben Corley (28 points, 9 rebounds) and Jaden Newport (11 points, 3 rebounds) scored in double figures for the Eagles.
The Lady Warriors experienced the other side of March Madness, falling to Liberty Academy 51-50 on 3-point buzzer beater from Bria Pelate in the first game of the doubleheader.
The decision marked the only loss of the season for CCS, which finished with a 16-1 record.
Pelate paced the Lady Eagles with 33 points and 10 rebounds despite enduring severe hip and back discomfort during the second half.
Lady Warriors sophomore Hannah Schulze scored 24 points to go along with 5 rebounds. She gave CCS a 50-48 lead on an offensive putback with 29 seconds remaining.
Meanwhile, junior Kaylee Blair notched a double-double of 19 points and 19 rebounds.
Read the full game stories by Progress sports editor Kevin Green in the Wednesday edition.