Marcus Walker didn’t score most of O’Hara’s points on Saturday, but he came awfully close. The senior accounted for 40 of the Celtics 81 points in an 81-77 overtime victory in the Class 4 Boys championship in Columbia Saturday.
The game moved at a break-neck pace in the first half, as O’Hara grabbed a 41-40 lead at the end of the second quarter. The largest lead either team had on Saturday was a 28-20 advantage the Celtics enjoyed in the second quarter, but Willard rallied with a 10-2 run to tie it up at 30-30. Walker finished the first half with 13 points.
The up and down nature of the first half went out the window in the third quarter, as the two teams slugged through fouls and missed shots, as Willard grabbed a 50-49 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Tigers led 69-64 when Jonathon Husskisson scored with 2:37 to go. Shane Dennis’ lay up with 1:49 remaining got the Celtics to within three. Willard still led by three, when Tokie Aromona stole the ball from Al Henderson and the Celtics called a 30-secdond timeout. Out of the timeout, junior Adrian Jackson hit a three pointer to tie the game at 69.
In overtime Walker, who had 28 points at the end of regulation, took over. He scored all 12 of O’Hara’s points in the extra period. He was 7-of-10 from the free throw line and hit a lay up and a three-pointer. His 71 combined points in the semifinals and finals is fourth best in MSHSAA Show-Me Showdown history.
Willard senior Chris Forrest finished with 26 points, while Huskisson added 17 for the Tigers. Head coach Brad Barton finished his first season at the school with a record of 29-3. The Celtics win their first state title with a 27-5 mark.