OKLAHOMA CITY — Latarryus Smith got hot, and he quickly remembered instructions from Star Spencer coach Lance Cudjoe.
“My coach always tells me, ‘if they don’t have a hand in your face, shoot the ball,’” Smith said. “So I kept shooting the ball.”
Just what Class 3A No. 3 Star Spencer needed.
The senior guard scored 10 points in overtime while leading the Bobcats to a 64-55 triumph over top-ranked Kingston on Saturday at State Fair Arena. The victory for Star Spencer landed the Bobcats their ninth state championship, a year after losing to Douglass in the finals.
“It feels really good,” said Smith, who connected on 7 of 12 field goals, 5 of 8 3-point attempts and 9 of 11 foul shots. “It feels a lot better than last year.”
Smith’s heroics in extra time almost weren’t necessary, but Jordan Owen’s jumper at the end of regulation was off, setting the stage for Smith to become Kingston’s worst nightmare.
“The most dynamic guard in 4A and below — maybe in the state of Oklahoma,” Cudjoe said. “I had to teach him about sharing the ball, but he can get a shot anytime he wants.”
Smith finished with 28 points and hauled in five rebounds.
For Kingston (26-3), Jacob Germany had a team-high 20 points in the Redskins’ quest to win the school’s first basketball title. Germany finished 8 of 9 from the field, but he knocked down only 4 of his 11 free throw attempts.
RJ Weeks was Kingston’s only other player to score in double figures with 13 points.
The championship for Star Spencer, who also had 12 points from Brandon Zeno, claimed its first crown since 2009 when it took down Bishop McGuinness for the 4A title.
“Last year, we felt like we should have won it,” Cudjoe said. “This year with God’s grace, we did.”
No. 3 Star Spencer 64, No. 1 Kingston 55
Star Spencer (22-7): Latarryus Smith 28, Brandon Zeno 12, Jayden Winder 7, Denis Mitchell 4, Malik Gilliam 4, Jordan Owens 3, Brian Swain 2, Corey Robinson 2, Deandre Parker 2.
Kingston (26-3): Jacob Germany 20, RJ Weeks 13, Jacob Whipkey 9, Conner Brister 8, Stoney Lowe 5.