By BEN JOHNSON
It’s 2010 all over again. Well, sort of.
Once again the Bedouin Shrine Classic will be treated to a girls matchup between Hulbert and Oktaha. However, unlike 2010, today’s game at 4:30 will be a spot in this year’s championship game.
The parallels are quite similar, though. Like 2010, Hulbert enters unranked while Oktaha is again a top-five club, sporting a No. 4 ranking in Class 2A. The Lady Riders won the last meeting in the tournament, knocking off Oktaha 56-54 at the Civic Center.
Allison Arnall remembers it well.
“I’m ready to meet up with them again,” Arnall said after Hulbert’s 52-47 win over Haskell in the first round of the Shrine Classic on Monday. “We beat them in the finals [last time], so I’m ready to see if we can take that task on again.”
A modest 11 games into the season, Hulbert coach Rick Ott knows this year’s squabble with unbeaten Oktaha will be a good barometer for moving forward this season.
“It’s going to be a game for us to see where we’re at,” said Ott, whose team is 9-2. “It’s going to be a game we need to see what we need to check on. It’ll help us figure out where we’re going season-wise.”
In the boys game, at 6 p.m. at the Civic Center, Hulbert (7-3) will challenge 2A No. 2 Oktaha (11-0) to make the Shrine Classic finals.
Indians take on Jenks
Sequoyah coach Jay Herrin isn’t beating around the bush. He knows the obstacles confronting his team in tonight’s game against 6A No. 6 Jenks.
“To a man, they’re probably going to be a little bigger, stronger, faster,” Herrin said. “But our kids are really looking forward to the game. We’re looking forward to seeing how we stack up against them.”
Against Jenks, a great importance will be placed on Sequoyah executing its full-court press, which could lead to easy baskets in transition.
“If we can get some easy baskets off our press, that would be huge,” Herrin said. “On offense, we have to be ready to shoot the ball, regardless of the offensive set we’re in, because Jenks holds most teams to the 40s. They’re a defensive-minded team.”
The Sequoyah girls will also play in the Shrine Classic semifinals against Spiro at 4:30 p.m. at Muskogee High School.