Park Center senior guard CJ O'Hara stole the ball at center court and took it to the hoop for one last dunk as time expired.
"We were fighting so hard throughout the game, so I feel like the great way to end it off was with a dunk, so I dunked it hard," O'Hara said.
The 6-4 guard scored a game-high 22 points as top seed and defending boys basketball state champion Park Center defeated third seed Osseo 62-52 for the Class 4A, Section 5 championship Friday at Rogers High School. It's the fourth section title in the past five years for Park Center.
The Pirates held a 31-26 lead at the half, but Osseo (16-13) always seemed to be within striking distance.
"I thought the pace in the first half, they controlled," said Pirates coach James Ware. "I thought the pace in the second half, we controlled and were able to build a lead. And we needed every bit of that lead."
Osseo coach Tim Theisen called Park Center's defense "tenacious." His team still kept it close, with a Trey Smith three-pointer that cut the deficit to 53-51 with 1:32 left in regulation, capping an 11-0 run. But Osseo couldn't get any closer.
"All we could say is we had opportunities to hit shots, and unfortunately the ball just didn't go in," Theisen said. "You felt that electricity in the gym. It would have exploded once we hit that shot, but we didn't."
Fifteen of O'Hara's points came in the second half, and he also made two clutch free throws in the final minute to help his team pull away with a final 9-1 run.
The Pirates (26-2), ranked No. 1 in Class 4A by Minnesota Basketball News, reach the state tournament for the seventh time overall in search of its second state title.