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State Tournament time in Oklahoma PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 03 March 2011 11:48


When deadline is over on Friday morning, I’ll be heading to Oklahoma City for the semifinals and championships of the Oklahoma high school state basketball tournament. This is an exciting time of year for high school basketball fans. And it’s made even more exciting since three Beaver County teams — Forgan, Beaver and Balko — will be playing in the tournament.
Balko is the Cinderella story of the tournament. The Lady Bison are making their first-ever trip to “The Big House” in “The City” after posting a 24-3 record and beating Forgan — twice within the span of a week — to make it to state. This after the Lady Bulldogs handed Balko one of its two regular season losses.
And while the Lady Bison have several senior leaders, the real heart of the lineup is junior Jaylee Mays (state cross country champion) and freshman Madison Dearmin, who is a presence in the post.
Coaches Aid calls Balko a darkhorse, while Hammon and Red Oak — Balko’s quarterfinal opponent Thursday — are the favorites. But don’t be surprised if the Lady Bison pull off a Hoosier-esque championship.
The game can be heard Online: http://www.ihigh.com/centraloklahoma/index.html
The Beaver Lady Dusters, on the other hand, are making their 13th appearance at state, first since 2009. Beaver lost to eventual state champion Preston 60-59 two years ago in a game that many considered the true state championship.
Beaver’s seniors are making their third appearance at state, and open Thursday night against Chattanooga at Midwest City High School. The game will be broadcast on Z-92.
Forgan’s boys are making their sixth trip to state, first since a 68-64 quarterfinal loss to Red Oak in 2009. The Bulldogs were favorites last year before being upset in the Area round.
This year the Bulldogs are battle-tested, winning some epic battles. Their only two losses were to 6A Muskogee (55-52) and 5A Tulsa East Central (49-33) in the Tournament of Champions last December.
Listen to the game on K-101.
• This will be my fourth state tournament to cover, second in Oklahoma (2009, 2011). I have seen state champions crowned in Florida (1993, 1996) and Texas (2004), and have loved every second of it.
I hope to to see three Beaver County teams crowned on Saturday.
• That I’m going to OKC Friday is a minor miracle. My vehicle broke down two miles west of Forgan while on my way home from the district tournament in Beaver on Feb. 12.
I was stranded in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night, but through the kindness of others, I made it home, got my car towed and got it fixed in time for the Area tournament last week. So far it is running great, and I hope it will continue that trend ...
• Visit Facebook.com and find the High Plains Daily Leader page. I’ll be updating from the state tournament in Oklahoma City Friday and Saturday. You can also find sports and news stories linked from our Website at www.hpleader.com.

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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