Monday, February 15, 2010

My basketball season

My high-school basketball season started on Nov. 2

So far, I have covered 76 games for high schools. That total does not include college games or junior high ones.

There have been some thrillers and some duds.

Among the best games I have seen this year are all three Poteau-Spiro games, the Howe boys against Heavener in the LCT, Poteau’s girls against Howe (also in the LCT), Howe’s boys vs. Red Oak in the finals of the Eastern tournament and many more that I can’t recall.

And yes, there have been some bad ones. Howe girls blasting Cameron, Heavener’s girls laying a whipping on Hartshorne and Howe boys taking care of Cameron and Bokoshe are some of the biggest mismatches.

In those 76 games, 20 came during the LeFlore County Tournament. That was four games for five games. Yes, I needed a break after that week.

My travels have taken me to here and far. The only county gyms I have not been in this year are Arkoma, Bokoshe, LeFlore, Talihina and Whitesboro.

I have seen all the county teams aside from the Arkoma girls and Whitesboro boys. And yes, I apologize for missing those two teams.

The teams I have seen the most are Heavener, Howe and Poteau, which makes sense because they are the closest schools to home. But I have also seen Pocola’s girls play seven times and Talihina’s boys five times.

I have watched Heavener’s boys and girls play 13 times. Howe’s girls 12 and the boys 11. Poteau’s boys and girls 12 each.

There have also been some outstanding individual achievements. Taylor Collins had a great game in the LCT finals and scored 37 last week at Pocola. She also outscored Hartshorne in a game. For the boys, the best game was Josh Ross scoring 36 earlier in the month.

Another one that stands out was Pocola’s Patrick Dixon going wild in the last couple of minutes against Poteau. The Pirates seemed to be in control but Dixon hit five threes in the final two minutes and almost lifted the Indians to a miracle win before Poteau won.

There have been players have breakout years and others who didn’t even get to finish the season. Heavener standout Brandon Kirkland was easily one of the top players in the county before breaking his collarbone in the LCT semifinals against Talihina and missing the rest of the season.

Another standout, Pocola sophomore Taylor Martindale showed she is one of the top players in the county, but hurt her knee and has missed several games. She might be able to return, but like Heavener, Pocola has missed Martindale.

As far as good coaching jobs, one that many might not think about is the job Heavener coach Scott Gregory has done since losing Kirkland. The Wolves were not very good in the third-place game and for a week or so after. But he has mixed and matched lineups and now Heavener is playing some pretty good ball heading into the county tournament.

Also, Scott Nelke has done an excellent job with Poteau, guiding the Pirates to a 15-6 record against a tough schedule.

But the best coaching job I have seen this year is by Howe girls coach Chris Brown. After dominating the county over the last two years, Howe lost eight of its top 10 scorers after last season.

Brown used a mixture of young and old and has led the Lady Lions to a 24-1 record with only three seniors playing. With a standout group of sophomores and freshmen, the future looks bright for Howe.

Talihina coach Chris Gillespie also has to feel good about next season. The second-ranked Tigers have four starters coming back next season from a team that won the LCT for the first time since 1974 and is looking for a state championship trophy in a few weeks.

1 comment:

  1. Figured that the Heavener/Howe girls game in the finals of the LCT should be included with your top games, Craig.