Tahlequah Daily Press

High School Sports

March 7, 2013

Class 5A girls state tournament preview


Shawnee Wolves

Record: 24-2.

Ranking: No. 1.

Coach: Wendi Wells.

Top players: McKenzie Cooper (Jr), Bailey Taylor (Soph).

Path to state: Area champion. The Wolves cruised to win regional wins over Capitol Hill and El Reno. Shawnee then stamped its ticket to the state tournament with a 60-50 win over Piedmont.

Notes: Shawnee won its first state title in school history last season. The Wolves beat East Central in the finals. ... Taylor missed the final two games of the regular season with a shoulder injury but has since returned.

Memorial Chargers

Record: 14-12.

Ranking: No. 14.

Coach: Rabu Leyva.

Top players: Faith Ihim (Jr, 5-9, forward), Jessica Patterson (Sr, 5-6, guard), Kayla Whayne (Sr, 5-2, guard).

Path to state: Area consolation champion. Memorial barely made it out of the regional semifinals with a 43-42 win over Claremore. A four-point win over Edison followed for a regional championship before the Chargers fell to Tahlequah in the area finals. Memorial, though, responded with a 49-43 win over Bishop Kelley to return to the state tournament.

Notes: Ihim is the Chargers' leading scorer at 29.3 points per game. She also leads the team with 14.7 rebounds a contest.

Deer Creek Antlers

Record: 24-2.

Ranking: No. 2.

Coach: Totsy Manning.

Path to state: Area champion. Western Heights and Ardmore were no match for the Antlers during regional play. Deer Creek followed that up with a 47-40 victory over Carl Albert in the area finals.

Notes: This Deer Creek's first time in the state tournament since 2010. ... The Antlers have won three state titles in school history, including the most recent in 2006. ... Deer Creek is 3-2 against top-five teams this year, and it is 12-1 in neutral-site games.

Collinsville Cardinals

Record: 20-7.

Ranking: No. 9.

Coach: Kelly Clarke.

Top players: Shelbie Kirby, Haylie Kirby, Kryston Wheeler, Dakota Jefferson.

Path to state: Area consolation champion. After blowing out Skiatook in the regional semifinals, the Cardinals beat Bishop Kelley 35-34 for a regional title. Collinsville then fell to East Central in the area finals only to bounce back with an overtime win over Chickasha in the area consolation finals.

Notes: This is Collinsville's first time in the state tournament since 1985. ... The Cardinals won a title back in 1984. ... Shelbie Kirby leads the Cardinals in scoring at around 20 points a game. ... The Cardinals won the Metro Lakes Conference title during the regular season.

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