By John Martin
Midwest City Beacon
The Carl Albert Titans mounted a massive fourth quarter rally to overtake Norman with a 41-38 win to claim the championship of the Titan Classic on Saturday.
The Titans trailed by 14 points midway through the second period and still trailed 25-12 at halftime.
The Titans finally tied it at 38-all when Tourney MVP Quincy Hopkins connected with 1:13 on the clock, then sophomore Ryan Reynolds stepped into the Hero Role as he first stole the ball on Norman’s next possession then fired up a rainbow three from the deep corner that swished the net for a trey that gave the Titans a 41-38 lead and sent the Carl Albert Crazies and the entire crowd into near delirium.
And that’s the way it ended.
Jay Price had his coach’s award, the Titans had the championship plaque, Hopkins had his MVP award and Jordan England and TaShawn James had All-Tournament plaques, the team celebrated with the Crazies and a good time was had by all.
Except Norman. The poor Tigers squandered a huge first half advantage but still had the lead and the ball with less than a minute to play before Hopkins and Reynolds broke their hearts.
Hopkins finished with 23 points, 17 in the second half, The Titans were down, 35-27, going into the final period when Hopkins delivered a put-back followed by a thunderous dunk on a breakaway that set the tone for the comeback.
Dammarion Brown delivered a clutch layup off a steal then it was Quincy with a free throw and another runner in the lane before tying the score and setting the stage for Reynolds.
Reynolds felt comfortable taking the game winner. “I practice shooting threes all the time and I felt in perfect rhythm when I got the pass from Jordan. I didn’t see it go through but I heard the crowd and saw my guys jumping up and down so I figured it must have gone in.”
“What a thrill to help my team with a big win in our own tournament,” he added.
Carl Albert applied the defensive clamps on an explosive Christian Heritage squad in Friday’s semifinals and posted a 52-37 victory that was closer than that for much of the contest.
CHS tied the score at 11-all midway through the first period but TaShawn James,Quincy Hopkins and Jayden Mott scored consecutive baskets and Jordan England added a pair of free throws to give the Titans a 19-14 lead going into the second quarter.
England connected on a layup to beat the third period buzzer to give CA a 33-24 advantage going into the final stanza where the Titan defense took control.
Quincy Hopkins, who took scoring honors with 16 points, had two free throws and a field goal and James pushed the margin to 15 with two free throws for a 42-27 game with 4:25 left.
The Wildcats resorted to fouling down the stretch and Hopkins with 7 free throws and James with 3 made them pay.
England added 15 points to the win while James’ success at the free throw line netted him double figures with 11 points.
Mott had four free throws, two field goals and led the CA rebound effort, pulling down 9, three of them on the offensive end.
Dammarion Brown had the opening basket of the contest, gathering in the trip off from Mott and driving for a layup.
Hutch Russell, Reed DeQuasie and Ryan Reynolds gave Jay Price quality time off the bench.
The Titans broke loose from a 12-12 first quarter stalemate and roared past a stubborn McAlester team, 74-56, in first round action of the Titan Classic on Thursday.
Quincy Hopkins dumped in 7 points, Jordan England opened the contest with a trey and Jayden Mott wound up scoring the final two.
But Reed DeQuasie and Ryan Reynolds jump-started the second period before TaShawn James, England, DeQuasie and England again hit field goals, Mott had a field goal and two free throws and Hopkins had a pair of charity tosses.
England put up a traditional three-pointer to wind up the first half to push the advantage to 36-24.
Hopkins added five field goals in the final period to take scoring honors with 23 points while England’s early burst gave him 18. DeQuasie had 8 and Reynolds added 6 and Mason Novotny and Damarrion Brown also added to the scoring total.
England delivered his final bucket just before departing early in the final period to give CA its largest lead at 72-51.