Odessa treats losing like it’s allergic to it.
The top-seeded Tigers put the final touches on a perfect season Saturday night, riding Ryan Moffet’s 28 points to a 62-36 victory over No. 2 seed Yakama Tribal in the championship game of the State 1B boys basketball tournament at the Arena.
Boasting a senior-laden roster and Moffet, the state’s all-time leading scorer, the Tigers finished their season 27-0, duplicating the school’s unbeaten run to a football championship last fall. Odessa is the first school to accomplish the feat since the WIAA created the 1B and 2B classifications in 2007.
“It doesn’t seem real,” said Moffet, who walked off the court to hugs from head coach Larry Weber and his father, assistant coach Larry Moffet. “This has been 15 years, 15 years, playing together since second grade busting our butts.
“I was ready to die for this. I was prepared to die for this, and every single person on the team felt the same way.”
Moffet finished his career with 3,216 points.
The Tigers led 27-18 at halftime and reeled off the first 14 points of the second half to put the game out of reach. Moffet scored seven points during the run, his layup extending Odessa’s lead to 41-18 with 4:51 left in the third quarter.
“When you get ’em down, you gotta keep ’em there,” Moffet said.
“The third quarter has really been our quarter all year,” Weber said. “We don’t condition in practice. We just play hard and learn to play when we’re tired and how to compete.”
Weber celebrated the championship with his senior son, Camden, who grabbed nine rebounds and dished out five assists.
“I was talking to my dad and asked him if he’d every coached a state champion before,” Camden said. “He’s our baseball coach, and last year we didn’t get the (win in the state championship game). He was just as excited as we were tonight, and we just had to keep control of our emotions. It’s a special evening.”
The teams battled to an early 7-all tie through the game’s first 4 minutes, but Odessa closed the opening quarter on a 9-2 run to take a 16-9 lead.
Marcus King had nine rebounds, and Jaden Hunt and Jett Nelson each scored seven points for Odessa.
Justice Hart scored 13 points and snared a team-high seven rebounds to pace the Eagles.
Yakama Tribal’s Bryce Strom, who averaged 10 points and six rebounds through the Eagles’ first two games in the tournament, was saddled with three fouls in the game’s first 70 seconds and was relegated to the bench until the second half. He finished with six points.
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