Saturday, January 9, 2010

The 'Big House'

For high school basketball players, they dream of making it to state and playing in Oklahoma City at the “Big House”

Few players ever get to experience that dream. For LeFlore County eighth graders, their version of the “Big House” is playing in the LeFlore County Junior High Tournament at Carl Albert.

Eight teams achieved that dream and got to the play at CASC in the semifinals of the tournament Friday.

Hodgen’s boys and girls, Arkoma’s girls, Talihina’s boys, Heavener’s girls, Spiro’s boys and both Poteau teams played before a large crowd that braved the freezing temperatures to experience an atmosphere that is hard to top for a bunch of seventh and eighth graders.

The play was a little sloppy at times, but the effort was as good as you would see at any high school games.

Scoring was also a little less, but that is also to be expected.

The evening started with Hodgen’s girls playing Arkoma. The players ranged from the tall to the short and everything in between. The game had the fans on the edge of their seats most of the time before the Lady Bulldogs pulled away at the end.

Next up was Hodgen’s boys facing Talihina. Surprisingly, Hodgen’s bench was bloated with players while the Tigers only dressed out seven players and three of the starters were seventh graders.

Hodgen’s boys capped a sweep as they held off the Tigers to advance to the finals.

The next game was between Heavener’s girls and Poteau. This one was as dramatic as any game you could hope to see. The teams swapped leads in the fourth quarter and featured a winning basket with only 10 seconds left and a potential winning or tying basket that missed at the buzzer before the Lady Raiders advanced.

Finally, Poteau’s boys played Spiro in a game featuring play that was as good or better than you will see at some high school contests.

The undefeated and powerful Poteau team had more than it could handle in the first half from a Spiro team that was super fast and athletic. In the second half, Poteau started edging in front and finally put away the Bulldogs.

Tonight is a matchup between the big (Poteau) and the small (Hodgen), a school that only goes to eighth grade.

Based on the play from Friday, Poteau should be the favorite. But you can’t count out the little guys as anything can happen at our “Big House”.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the JH coverage. I haven't seen a JH game in years, but it sounds like fun and sounds like they're good too! - Jim Patterson