Tahlequah Daily Press

High School Sports

March 6, 2013

Class 3A boys state tournament preview

Thursday (at Yukon)

Game 1: Sequoyah vs. Sperry, 2 p.m.

Game 2: Okemah vs. Crooked Oak, 3:30 p.m.

Game 3: Hugo vs. Millwood, 7 p.m.

Game 4: Verdigris vs. Okla. Centennial, 8:30 p.m.

Friday (at State Fair Arena)

Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 10:30 a.m.

Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 9 p.m.

Saturday (at State Fair Arena)

Game 7: Championship game, 9:15 p.m.

Sequoyah Indians

Record: 19-8.

Ranking: No. 8.

Coach: Jay Herrin.

Top players: Caisen Green (Jr, 6-2, forward), Ryan Helsley (Sr, 6-1, guard), B.J. Leach (Soph, 6-0, guard), T.J. Jones (Sr, 6-2, forward).

Path to state: Area I champion. Haskell posed little threat during district play, but the Indians barely beat Beggs during the regional semifinals. Then, after beating Henryetta for the regional crown, the Indians followed by knocking off No. 1 Centennial for spot in the state tournament.

Notes: Sequoyah is back in the state tournament for the first time since 2010. ... The Indians’ lone championship came back in 2003. ... Sequoyah has won four straight after entering the postseason on a two-game losing streak.

Sperry Pirates

Record: 22-4.

Ranking: No. 5.

Coach: Lance Kight.

Top players: Casey Cole (Jr, 6-6, forward), Blake Teel (Sr, 5-10, guard), Peyton Pratt (Soph, 6-0, guard).

Path to state: Area III consolation champion. The Pirates disposed of Chelsea, Eufaula and Keys during district and regional play. However, the Pirates were blown out by Verdigris in the area finals and needed overtime to get past Adair in the area consolation championship game.

Notes: Sperry is making its second straight appearance in the state tournament. Last season and this year are the only times Sperry has ever made the state tournament. ... Sperry lost to Washington in the first round of the state tournament last season ... Two Sperry’s four losses this season have come against Verdigris. The other two were to Lincoln Christian and Inola.

Okemah Panthers

Record: 24-3.

Ranking: No. 2.

Coach: Kale Simon.

Path to state: Area IV champion. Okemah breezed through Holdenville, Atoka and Sulphur during the district and regional rounds. The Panthers then blew out Hugo in the area finals for a spot in the state tournament.

Notes: This is Okemah’s third state-tournament appearance in the last five years. ... Two of Okemah’s three losses this year have come against the Oklahoma City Storm. ... The Panthers have not played a top-five team yet this season.

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