Sunday, March 10, 2013
OU signee hits championship winner
By Bob Przybylo
TULSA, Okla. -- Oklahoma signee Jordan Woodard (Edmond, Okla./Memorial) had a chance for history last March. A championship-winning 3-point shot hit the back of the rim as time expired in a one-point loss to Tulsa (Okla.) Union.
On Saturday at Oral Roberts, with 7.1 seconds left in the Oklahoma Class 6A championship and trailing 48-47 against Midwest City, it didn’t look like Woodard was going to get a chance for redemption.
He made it happen. Woodard stole the inbounds pass and tipped in the championship-winner at the buzzer to give Edmond Memorial an unforgettable 49-48 victory and its second state championship in three seasons.
“This is the best moment of my life right now,” Woodard said. “I’ve never felt so thankful. So blessed. This is incredible.”
Woodard, a three-star point guard prospect, could have scripted a better senior season, but the ending was worth the hassle.
He missed 11 games this season because of a hamstring injury, which, it was revealed after the game, is worse than what was initially thought. Edmond Memorial coach Shane Cowherd said Woodard has essentially been playing this season with one hamstring.
Playing three games in as many nights normally wouldn’t faze Woodard, but his lack of playing time combined with being less than 100 percent made his championship outing a dud for the first 31 minutes, 52.9 seconds.
He had just five points, all on free throws, and was 0-of-6 from the field with five turnovers. Nobody remembers those numbers this morning, after Woodard showed why the Sooners are so excited to have him join the squad next season.
“We planned on fouling as soon as the ball came in,” Woodard said. “I was able to bait the pass and dove and got the steal.
“I had no clue at all [if the buzzer sounded first]. I felt like it was good. I definitely knew it was going in.”
Woodard became priority No. 1 for OU coach Lon Kruger from almost the first day Kruger accepted the job. The Sooners never let up their pursuit of Woodard, and Woodard became more and more comfortable with Kruger and the staff.
He committed to OU in August and signed with the Sooners in November.
“I’m so excited to play for Coach Kruger,” Woodard said. “I’m really excited to see what I can do with him coaching me and helping me improve as a player.”
Edmond Memorial lost only three games when Woodard played in the last three seasons, which includes a gold ball his sophomore season and Saturday night’s improbable finale to an incredible high school career.
“He’s a winner,” Edmond Memorial coach Shane Cowherd said. “When I think of Jordan, that’s what I’m going to think about. He knows how to win.”