Trey Reed, Times Record News
The Oklahoma trio of Mike Bontrager, A.J. Hawkins and Clayton Wrice played the role of crowd-pleasers in the halftime dunk contest.
Each of them impressed the judges for perfect scores in the finals with Wrice finally able to claim the dunk championship at D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
Meanwhile the rest of the team was probably hoping there would be a 3-point contest.
But that was perfectly fine for them, because they just decided to go out and start putting on a live exhibition as they came out of the break draining 4-of-6 treys, burying Texas in their wake, 83-72, in Thursday night’s ninth-annual Oil Bowl Basketball Classic
“I was hoping there would be a 3-point contest,” Bontager said. “I won the one we had back at Union High School, but it’s too bad we didn’t have one here.”
Maybe too bad for Texas.
James Coats, 5-10 Oklahoma Southeast High grad, came out smoking in the third quarter burying consecutive bombs to kick start a 17-4 Oklahoma run.
Bontrager connected on a 3 shortly before intercepting an errant Texas pass and coming clean for an emphatic behind-the-head dunk to extend the Oklahoma lead to 16 at 53-37 just three minutes into the second half.
Hawkins, a 6-5 Oklahoma City Millwood product on his way to Syracuse, picked it up from there scoring 11 of his game-high 18 points in the second half.
The win is Oklahoma’s second in a row and they have now taken two of the three meetings since the Oil Bowl changed to its current format.
“We won it last year, so we definitely wanted to win it this year,” Hawkins said. “We wanted to show that the 2004 class was better than the 2003 class.”
Hawkins was named the game’s most valuable player and finished with 18 points and 5 rebounds.
Gerrell Thomas (16), Bontrager (14) and Coats (12) also scored in double figures for Oklahoma.
Kellen Allen led Texas with 15 points while Zach Weismann had 11.
Former Wichita Falls High School standout Terrance Willis added eight points to go with a game-high 13 rebounds.
Willis was also Texas’ best hope in the slam-dunk contest. He rated 27s on his first two dunks before trying something special. He placed teammate Andrew Frohman five feet in front of the basket and had him feed a bounce pass over his head.
Willis soared over Frohman, caught the ball, but couldn’t connect on the dunk.
“I tried to get a little fancy and take in on my side,” Willis said. “The judges told me that I would have won if I’d just made it.”
Willis thinks the competition of the game was just his speed and capped a fun-filled week.
“They were a good group of guys,” he said. “Hopefully, I’ll play against them again one day.”
City View’s Anthony Montoya finished with four points on a put-back and two free throws. He also grabbed five boards.
“They were definitely faster, but was able to get a few boards and I made my two free throws,” Montoya said.