Kingfisher hoopsters Bijan Cortes and Matthew Stone have played together for so long, they know what the other is going to do on the court.
Such was the case last week when the duo took part in the large-class Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State basketball game at Frank Herald Field House at Jenks High School.
Late in the game, a member of the Large East team misfired on a shot. As Stone chased down the rebound, Cortes immediately took off in the opposite direction. Stone grabbed the ball and, without looking, heaved it downcourt. Waiting there was Cortes, who caught the pass and layed it in for an easy two points.
It was a play that looked spontaneous, but it was obvious the two former Yellowjackets had done it before.
“A lot,” said Stone laughing when asked how many times the pair had pulled that play off in their high school careers. “Definitely a lot of times.”
“I think we just have the same kind of mindset when it comes to transition or any type of play,” added Cortes, a four-star guard according to most recruiting services.
Winning their final game together was a fitting tribute to the pair, who helped lead Kingfisher to the best four-year record in state history. The Yellowjackets dominated Class 4A the past four seasons en route to an impressive 107-4 mark and two state championships, including the 2021 title.
“They won 107 games in their career,” said Kingfisher coach Jared Reese, who was on hand to watch the pair take the floor one last time as teammates. “I couldn’t be more proud of them. They worked hard and deserve all the honors they’ve received.”
The two will soon go their separate ways, as Cortes heads to Norman to play for the University of Oklahoma. Stone is off to Denton, Texas, where he’ll be a member of the North Texas Mean Green.
“It was an excellent way to finish and to pay tribute to the tradition of Kingfisher,” claimed Stone. “It’s amazing.”
Cortes summed up the All-State game and his high school career with a simple statement.
“At the end of the day, it’s all about winning,” said Cortes. “Winning games and winning championships.”