Friday, February 10, 2012

County teams gearing up for playoffs

The 2011-12 basketball season is quickly winding down with districts for the smaller schools set for this weekend with the larger schools going at it next weekend.

The seasons seem to fly by and it only seemed like a short time ago that basketball started.

It has once again been a good year for many county teams with several teams having a chance to extend their seasons deep into the playoffs.
Last year, two county teams made it to the state tournament in the Spiro girls and Talihina boys with Talihina winning state.
Another state championship will be difficult as we currently have only one team ranking in the top 10 as the Howe girls are ninth in Class 2A, despite a 23-1 record.

With its record, Howe is obviously our best bet to reach the state tournament. The Lady Lions are in a tough area with second-ranked Oktaha, 14th-ranked Talihina, No. 15 Central and Rattan, the only team to beat Howe this season.

Perennial power Savanna is not ranked, but is also in the region.

Bokoshe’s girls are No. 10 in Class B and could make another run.

Spiro’s girls are not ranked and got a tough draw in the district with a road game at Eufaula, which is 14-4 and ranked 14th. The Lady Bulldogs had a difficult schedule and lost in district play last year before coming back through the losers’ bracket to make state.

For the boys, several teams have the potential to make a run, especially LeFlore and Spiro.

LeFlore is 13th in Class B and with the scoring combo of Dakota Watson and Caleb Smith, along with a good group of players, the Savages could surprise.

Spiro is so explosive and has played a very difficult schedule with games against Poteau, Muldrow, Roland, Stilwell and Oktaha. When the Bulldogs are hot and with their athletes, they could compete with pretty much everybody in Class 3A.

Howe, Pocola and Wister will be tough in 2A while Cameron could challenge in Class A with a solid bunch of starters, which can feature five seniors.

The county 2A teams are a tough draw. Howe has gotten better throughout the year and almost beat Spiro (at Spiro) in the county tournament. Wister has a pair of excellent scorers in Cody Luman and Tyler Gibson, while Pocola is also an explosive team with a 17-4 record.

Like Spiro, Poteau has played a difficult schedule and a tough conference slate. The Pirates are able to compete with anybody as they have played McAlester, Roland, Stilwell and Muldrow tough at home, only to lose late.

The Pirates got a break in the district by avoiding Muldrow and Roland and get to open at home against Hilldale. But Cascia Hall, Muldrow, Roland and Stilwell are all in Poteau’s area and the Pirates will likely have to play Roland on its home court in the district open with a win over Hilldale in the district tournament.

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