Monday, January 17, 2011

Predicting the 2011 LCT

It’s time to button up the hatches and lock up the kiddos.

The annual LeFlore County Tournament starts Monday with all 13 county high schools competing.

Games will be held at Spiro, Heavener and Panama before all contests shift to Spiro for Thursday games through the finals.

As always, there will be excitement and despair.

I will get to the boys shortly, but for the girls, Heavener is the defending champions and the top seeds for the tournament. The Lady Wolves and Howe are the favorites to advance to Saturday’s finals by just about everybody.

Both teams have one loss with Heavener losing to 2A power Oktaha in a game Skylar Cooper was injured in and missed most of the game. Howe lost to Arkansas power County Line in the Arkoma tournament.

Heavener and Howe both return several key players from last year. Both those teams and Spiro get a bye in the first round. Here are my predictions on the tournament.

FIRST ROUND

(13) Arkoma vs. (4) Talihina. Talihina in a big way unless Arkoma’s eighth graders play. Arkoma has barely fielded a team lately and Talihina is much improved over last year. TALIHINA 48, ARKOMA 22.

(5) Bokoshe vs. (12) Pocola—Bokoshe should win this game, but I do not think it will be as lopsided as the seeds suggest. BOKOSHE 39, POCOLA 32.

(8) Poteau vs. (9) Panama—Poteau has already defeated Panama once this season, at Panama so the Lady Pirates should win. That game was close in the first half before Poteau pulled away. POTEAU 41, PANAMA 30.

(6) Wister vs. (11) Cameron—Two teams have played twice this season with Wister winning both games. The Lady Wildcats should make it a hat trick here. WISTER 51, CAMERON 26.

(7) Whitesboro vs. (10) LeFlore—Whitesboro could have been seeded higher. LeFlore is struggling and Whitesboro should advance without much problem. WHITESBORO 41, LeFLORE 24.

SECOND ROUND

(1) Heavener vs. (8) Poteau—Heavener beat Poteau bad to start the season but the Lady Pirates are improving. Game is played at Heavener so the Lady Wolves should win but it could be much closer than a lot of people expect. HEAVENER 44, POTEAU 36.

(4) Talihina vs. (5) Bokoshe—Will be an interesting game but the Lady Tigers should advance. TALIHINA 38, BOKOSHE 32.

(3) Spiro vs. (6) Wister—If there is going to be an upset early in the tournament, this could be it. Both teams are better than last year and Spiro was seeded higher than many expected. Game is played at Spiro so the Lady Bulldogs should advance. SPIRO 46, WISTER 41.

(7) Whitesboro vs. (2) Howe—With its record, Whitesboro could have had a much better seed. This is where it hurts the Lady Bulldogs as they run into Howe in the second round. Whitesboro is good but Howe is better. HOWE 51, WHITESBORO 38.

SEMIFINALS

(1) Heavener vs. (4) Talihina—The two teams played last week at Talihina and Heavener won fairly easy. Heavener moves into the finals. HEAVENER 42, TALIHINA 34.

(2) Howe vs. (3) Spiro—Biggest advantage for Spiro is playing at home. Could make the game closer than it would otherwise. HOWE 48, SPIRO 40.

FINALS

(1) Heavener vs. (2) Howe—This one is a tossup. Last year, Heavener won fairly easy. This time, it should be much closer with the Lady Wolves winning a tight one. HEAVENER 41, HOWE 38.

BOYS

In the boys’ side of the bracket, Talihina is the overwhelming favorite after winning the tournament last year and finishing second in state the last two years.

Kind of a bad deal as on most years, Heavener, Poteau and Spiro could easily be county champions. Among the smaller schools, Cameron has the best shot at making a run in the tournament although the Yellow Jackets will probably play Heavener at Heavener in the second round.
Here are my predictions for the boys

FIRST ROUND

(8) Arkoma vs. (9) Howe—Arkoma won at Howe this week. Howe’s leading scorer, Jared Brown has a hurt ankle and could be slowed. Arkoma advances. ARKOMA 48, HOWE 35.

(5) Cameron) vs. (12) LeFlore—Cameron fairly easy. CAMERON 58, LeFLORE 34.

(13) Bokoshe vs. (4) Heavener—Heavener easy in a game against the winless Tigers. HEAVENER 60, BOKOSHE 30.

(6) Panama vs. (11) Pocola—Two old and bitter rivals. Panama advances over the young Indians. PANAMA 38, POCOLA 30.

(7) Wister vs. (10) Whitesboro—Probably the best first-round game. Wister wins but Whitesboro should stay close. WISTER 52, WHITESBORO 41.

SECOND ROUND

(1) Talihina vs. (8) Arkoma—Arkoma has some talent and good athletes but Talihina is too good and experienced. TALIHINA 64, ARKOMA 38.

(4) Heavener vs. (5) Cameron—Best game of the second round. Cameron is a very good team, but has to play the Wolves at Heavener. Heavener advances. HEAVENER 78, CAMERON 69.

(3) Spiro vs. (6) Panama—Panama can stay close for a while but Spiro should be too good for the Razorbacks. SPIRO 50, PANAMA 36.

(7) Wister vs. (2) Poteau—Wister could cause some problems for Poteau, but the Pirates have too much depth, size and talent. POTEAU 66, WISTER 54.

SEMIFINALS

(1) Talihina vs. (4) Heavener-- Heavener was only down by three at halftime last week at Talihina and had a big lead early in last year’s semifinals between the two teams before Brandon Kirkland was hurt. If Heavener is hot and gets some inside scoring, the Wolves could stay close. But Talihina advances. TALIHINA 74, HEAVENER 61.

(2) Poteau vs. (3) Spiro—Spiro has won the last four times these teams have met, including earlier this year at Spiro. But in that game, Poteau played without three starters: Wilson Klutts, Josh Ross and Derek Blake. Plus, the Pirates led late before Spiro rallied. Finally, Poteau wins, even though the game is at Spiro. POTEAU 58, SPIRO 53.

FINALS

(1) Talihina vs. (3) Poteau—I believe Poteau is the only team in the county that could knock off Talihina. The Pirates have the size and guards to face Talihina’s pressure. Poteau is used to playing good teams, but so is Talihina. TALIHINA 65, POTEAU 54.

4 comments:

  1. I think Poteau has this.

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  2. I still think Heavener boys should have been seeded third instead of Spiro. Then Heavener would bump off Poteau in the semis and face Talihina in the finals. We'll find out when Heavener likely faces Spiro in the third-place game. Even though, it's at Spiro, Heavener should win. - Jim Patterson

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  3. Cameron girls did better than your prediction. They had the game tied at half.

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  4. ALL ABOUT TALIHINA

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