Monday, January 23, 2012

Some final thoughts on the LCT

Looking back over the 80th LeFlore County Tournament, I have a few thoughts and suggestions.

First off, congratulations to the Howe girls and Spiro boys for winning the tournament. Bokoshe also did a great job as a host of this year's tournament.

One thing that really surprised me was the number of empty seats for the Thursday semifinals. I realize that Heavener and Poteau did not have teams competing, but if you are a basketball fan in the county, you missed out.

Next, it’s always easy to second guess, but there were a few players who deserved mention on the all-tournament team who were not chosen.

For the girls, the most obvious one was Chelsea Baggs of Talihina. There might have been some against her selection because she was playing for a different team than she started her high school career with, but I do not feel like an all-tournament team was complete without her.

One other player who had a great tournament and wasn’t selected was Lindsey Mote of LeFlore.

For the boys, there are three players who were left off who deserved to be on the team. The first one is Kendrick Hardaway of Poteau.

I realize three players from Poteau were selected, but I don’t know how we could have an all-tournament team and not have him on it. He was ill on Saturday and did not have his normal stats, but he is as good of a player as there is in the county.

Another player who deserved to be on the team was Cody Luman of Wister. Teammate Tyler Gibson obviously deserved to be on the team and Luman did not have his usual game against Spiro in the semifinals, but is still one of the best players in the county.

Another player who deserved to be on the team was Anthony Milburn of Panama. Also, Heavener finished fourth and did not have a player selected. It would be a tough choice, but I would have selected Luke Culpepper.

I love Spiro’s gym. It is obviously the nicest one in the county. Spiro has done a really good job hosting the semifinals and the finals the past two years.

But, is this fair to other schools having to play Spiro at Spiro? Would Saturday’s game between Poteau and Spiro have been different if it was played on a neutral court? Or, what about when Howe’s boys played at Spiro on Tuesday?

There is no simple solution to this. The best thing that could happen would be if Carl Albert State College enlarged its facility. That would be a great recruiting tool for the college to bring all these players, coaches and fans in.
If we want the games to be played at a neutral facility in the county, that is our only hope. I don’t see the county or Poteau investing $5 million dollars for a new facility when the new Donald Reynolds Community Center could host everything other than basketball.

An enlarged facility would also allow CASC to host the LCT, along with regional and area tournaments, bringing in teams and fans from all over the area.

I am all for CASC adding new buildings for learning, but here’s hoping the administration addresses this issue and considers bringing the LCT back to where it should be.

If nothing can be done with CASC about enlarging its facility, my suggestion would be to hold both semifinals there and do the finals at Spiro.

Another suggestion is to keep all the games neutral. If a school is a subsite, don’t let them host their games at home. Also, some more thought needs to go into where games are scheduled.

For instance, Whitesboro’s boys played Pocola at Spiro in the opening round of the tournament.

That game would have been better to have been played at Heavener. The Talihina and LeFlore boys played at the Heavener sub-site, which was how it should have been. It probably would have been better to have Panama and Howe’s boys play at Spiro and move the Pocola and Whitesboro game to Heavener.

And, the final suggestion is to not seed the teams until after the first of the year. The teams were seeded for the 2012 LCT when several schools had only played one or two games.


  1. I take offense that you said that the Spiro gym is the nicest in the county. Talihina has a nice gym and seats more than Spiro. Apparently Talihina is never considered as a host for the tournament except for its turn in the rotation. There has been several Area and Regional tournaments held here with the largest payback to the OSSAA in the state. All I ask for is a reason as to why Talihina cannot have the semi and finals here. Lloyd James

    1. i must be mistaken but i thought carl albert's gym was located in poteau. Did spiro have their own players ref the games?

    2. Sorry those refs were from Sequoyah county!


  3. Howe also has a really nice gym, it may not have as much seating as Spiro but it is just as nice.

  4. My thoughts:

    Driving to Talihina would be a hardship for almost every school in the county.

    The reason that schools don't ask Talihina be an additional sub site is because very few people want to drive over the mountain.

    I agree that unless they are that year's original host the schools in the finals should not hold the finals at their school's gym.

    I highly doubt CASC will improve their gym again after what was probably a costly (and poor planned, in my opinion) remodel.