Friday, December 16, 2011

Don't 'fix' the LCT

As the 2012 LeFlore County Tournament approaches, expect to hear some discussion about breaking the tournaments into two divisions again.

Some supporters want the tournament to be divided into a big school and small school division.

I had no idea anybody was thinking about doing this until last year.

For me, that is a terrible idea. If something isn’t broken, don’t mess with it.

The LCT is the best tournament in the state of Oklahoma, drawing huge crowds and creating memories for those players and fans which will last a lifetime.

Some would argue the smaller schools have no chance to win. There are years when it is tough, sometimes even impossible, for a smaller school to win, but there have been plenty of years when the smaller schools have not only competed well, but won.

I do not know how those supporters want to break the tournament into two divisions, but it would probably be with Poteau, Heavener, Howe, Spiro, Panama, Pocola, Talihina and Wister in the big school division. They would have a tournament among the two divisions with the winners playing in the finals.

All those schools are Class 2A and above. That would put Arkoma, Bokoshe, Cameron, LeFlore and Whitesboro in the small school division. That automatically messes things up as the breakdown is eight and five.

Won’t work. With 13 schools competing in varsity basketball, there is going to be an odd number. Howe is the smallest school of the ones listed in the big schools. Think the smaller schools want a piece of Howe’s girls?

I don’t expect one of the small schools to win this year. But one never knows.

And what makes this tournament so exciting is the opportunity. It’s the chance to see teams play against other teams which don’t play during the season, the chance of a Bokoshe, Cameron or Whitesboro to defeat a Spiro, Poteau or Heavener.

Or, even come close to an upset. That makes this so special.

Back in the old days, Indiana’s state tournament featured every school in the state.

Remember the movie Hoosiers? The movie was about a small school beating a big one for the Indiana state championship.

We have our modern day Hoosiers during the middle of January every year, maybe not with the silk short shorts, but it is the same thing. Small vs. Big, the chance of an upset which the coaches, players and fans will remember for years to come.

And that is the way it should be.


  1. Agreed! And I play on a small school.

  2. I had no idea they were contemplating changing what has worked for many years. The LCT is one of a kind and to change that would be cheating the folks of LeFlore county out of some good basketball. Let's hope this is just a passing fancy from the powers that be and that this nonsense will go away.

  3. How long has it been since one of those five smaller schools won either the boys or girls title?

  4. I might be speaking as a coach who doesn't live in Leflore County anymore but did play in the LCT. From a small school and speaking on behalf of small schools. This message that has been sent for a decade now of everyone needs equal playing time or everyone needs to get a trophy or so on and so on is a travesty to the art of competition. That is almost a slap in the face to the small schools. Great idea. Lets have 2 separate LCT's. What genius is in charge of that? Anyway for the small schools if anyone is complaining like that then I will tell what I tell my kids when we lose a game. Stop complaining and just go get better. The excuses stop as soon as you exit that dressing room. That happens on the practice floor. Our heart is just as big as theirs. Question is............ is our desire just as big. Sounds like someone high up has no desire and what's to ruin the art of competition.

  5. I don't know why anyone would want a change. The tournament is the best in Oklahoma! I'm trying to figure out why Spiro has been designated as the largest gym in LeFlore County when it holds 1,600 people, I know for a fact that Talihina can hold 1,800+ and has held as much at 2,000 quite a bit more than Spiro!


  6. Lloyd, do you honestly think everybody in the county would want to drive over the mountain, in the winter, of course, or drive to Spiro. I can tell you that the majority of the population in LeFlore County would much rather drive to Spiro. I'm sure the Talihina people would be the only ones to disagree.