By Ronn Rowland
Phoenix Sports Writer
TULSA – For Jordan Hill from Fort Gibson and Jacob Richardson from Porter, the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State basketball games were their final appearances before heading off to college.
Hill was a member of the Large School East squad while Richardson played for the Small School East team. Hill’s East team dropped an 89-85 decision while Richardson’s squad fell to the Small West 100-82.
In the Large School Game the West opened with a jumper by Galen Satoe for a 2-0 lead. The West lead after one 21-16 as Hill had three points.
When Hill scored his fifth point of the game, it tied the score 34-34. One possession, Duanta Thomas of Tulsa Hale drove in for a layup to give the East its first lead at 36-34 on its way to a 45-38 advantage at halftime.
“It was a fun game,” Hill said. “We just had to keep playing hard defense and that allowed us to get the lead. I wasn’t settling for the three shot but was trying to penetrate.”
The East maintained its advantage until 3:22 remaining in the fourth quarter when Tevin Foster of Lawton hit a 3-point shot to put the West up for good 76-73. Stephen Clark of Oklahoma City Douglass spurred the comeback with 13 second-half points on his way to a game-high 22 points.
“Stevie’s one hard guy to guard,” Hill said. “That’s why he’s the best player in the state.”
Richardson, the three-time All-Phoenix MVP, opened the game with a 3-point shot 18 seconds in, but that was the last lead the Small East squad would enjoy as the Small West went on a 12-0 run to take a 28-16 lead at the end of the first period.
After a 1-of-4 showing in the opening quarter, Richardson was 2 of 3 in the second period to finish the first half with seven points as the East trailed at intermission 52-35. Richardson would only score two more points to finish with nine but was not disappointed.
“Tonight was just about having fun,” Richardson said. “I liked playing with everybody and everybody was good around me.”
Jason Jack, Richardson’s coach at Porter who is now the coach at Northwest Classen in Oklahoma City, said his former player had a good game.
“I think he played pretty well,” Jack said. “In these all-star games, Jason likes to display all of his skills and all of his assets, just not be a scorer like he was for me in high school. I liked the fact that he was versatile and was playing defense on a kid a lot bigger that he was.”
Jake Regier of Forgan had a game-high 17 points for the West while Jeremiah Winney of Weleetka and Jeylyn Sharpe of Ketchum tied for team honors on the East with 12 points.
Between the two games, Fort Gibson boys coach Gary Hendrix was honored by the OCA for breaking the 500-win plateau which he did earlier this season with a 74-46 win over Oologah in the semifinals of the Oologah Tournament.
“It’s really humbling,” Hendrix said of the honor. “I feel very blessed and very fortunate. I had great parents, great kids, great assistant coaches and just feel very fortunate.”
Also at the game was Taylor Thomas from Hilldale who was a member of the East cheerleading squad.
Friday’s football game concludes All-State week with a 7 p.m. kickoff at Union-Tuttle Stadium. Fort Gibson’s Jake Gandara, Gore’s Chance Douthit, T.J. Ponds and Lateze Clayton of Wagoner and Vian’s Rowdy Simon will take the field for the final time representing their schools.