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Trey Alexander ended up with the gold ball.
After all the pictures were taken and all the interviews were done, he still had the shiny spoils from a hard fought state championship game in his hands. No teammate or coach came to take it from the Heritage Hall freshman.
On a day with tons of great games at both State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City and the Mabee Center in Tulsa, none was any better than the Class 4A boys final.
Heritage Hall 61, Kingfisher 56.
Neither team ever led by double digits. Leads switched back and forth. Ties were the most common score of the night.
But as good as the game was, Alexander was even better. The 14 year old had a game high 27 points on 9 of 15 shooting. He hit darn near everything he shot from behind the arc, going 4 of 6.
As impressive as all of that is, Alexander was at his best in crunch time. Lots of standing around. Few good shots.
Alexander took much of it personally, looking down in the locker room at halftime.
“Coach told me to do what I had to do,” Alexander said of Heritage Hall coach Chris Hamilton. “I had to be aggressive.”
That, Alexander was. He drove. He dished. He found the holes in the zone in the second half. He went 9 of 11 from the floor after halftime and completely changed the complexion of the game.
“He’s just special,” Hamilton said. “I think he’s one of the best freshmen in the country, not just Oklahoma.”
Hard to say just how Alexander ranks nationally, but the rangy 6 foot 3 guard plays with a confidence and a pace much more mature than his age would suggest.
With a little under 4 minutes left in the game and the score tied, Alexander caught a pass standing on the State Fair Park logo on the right side of the court. He shot it without hesitation.
Thirty or so feet.”I felt like I had my feet under me and had the spacing that I need,” Alexander said. “I just pulled it, and when it went in, man, it felt good.”
But every bit as impressive as that confidence was his pace. His control, if you will.
A minute or so after that long three, he drove the lane and took contact from Kingfisher’s Trey Green, who should be celebrated for playing a heck of a game with a broken nose and chipped tooth sustained in the opening moment’s of the game. Alexander gathered himself and knocked down a pretty jumper from the left elbow.
The kid is smooth.
Check that smoooooth seems more accurate.
“It’s just hours and hours in the gym,” he said, mentioning days when he works out three times. “It’s just the hard work I’ve put in. No days off.”