Tahlequah Daily Press

March 5, 2013

Class 3A girls state tournament preview

By BEN JOHNSON
Sports Editor

— State tournament schedule

At State Fair Arena (Oklahoma City)

Thursday

Game 1: Millwood vs. Verdigris, 2 p.m.

Game 2: Hugo vs. Perkins-Tryon, 3:30 p.m.

Game 3: Sulphur vs. Lindsay, 7 p.m.

Game 4: Sequoyah vs. Adair, 8:30 p.m.

Friday

Game 5: Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, TBD.

Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, TBD.

Saturday

Game 7: Championship game, TBD.

* Semifinal and finals times will be released on Tuesday.



Sequoyah Indians

Record: 20-8.

Ranking: No. 11.

Coach: Larry Shade.

Top players: Courtney Jones (Sr, 5-6, guard), Audrey Ballou (Jr, 5-9, forward), Loren Young (Jr ,6-0, junior), Baylee Ratliff (Soph, 5-8, guard).

Path to state: Area I consolation champion. Beat Haskell in district play and No. 7 Beggs and Henryetta in regional play. After a loss to No. 2 Perkins-Tryon in the area finals, Sequoyah beat Oklahoma Christian School, 64-49, to reach the state tournament.

Notes: Sequoyah is making its first trip to the state tournament since 2010. The Indians lost to Millwood in the first round that year. ... Sequoyah won three consecutive titles from 2005 to 2007. Those are the only three state championships Sequoyah has in girls basketball. ... The Indians are 3-7 against ranked teams this year and 0-4 against top-five clubs.



Adair Warriors

Record: 27-0.

Ranking: No. 4.

Coach: Scott Winfield.

Top players: Molly Kerr, Raven Campos, Kylie Looner.

Path to state: Area III champion. The Warriors have only been challenged once during their run to the state tournament. Adair started off by blowing out Dewey in district play, and Keys and Eufaula were easy victims during regional action. The Warriors then earned their state-tournament berth by beating Verdigris, 37-35, in the area finals.

Notes: Adair is making its eighth consecutive trip to the state tournament. ... The Warriors lost to Millwood in last year’s quarterfinals. ... Adair has won three state championships with the most recent coming in 2009.



Millwood Falcons

Record: 22-4.

Ranking: No. 3.

Coach: Arnelia Spears.

Top players: Teanna Reid (Sr, 5-6, guard), Keviona Grissom (Sr, 5-9 forward), Raven Prince (Soph, 5-9, forward).

Path to state: Area II champion. Victories over ASTEC (districts), Marlow (regional semifinals) and Lindsay (regional finals) preceded Millwood’s 54-43 win over Plainview in the area finals.

Notes: Millwood beat Prague 64-50 in the 3A finals last season. Reid had 17 points in the title game. ... Last year’s state championship was Millwood’s third in school history. ... This is Millwood’s 20th appearance in the state tournament. ... Reid leads Millwood in scoring at 17.2 points per game. She also averages 5.3 assists per game. Grissom leads the Falcons with 7.8 rebounds a game.



Verdigris Cardinals

Record: 24-4.

Ranking: No. 5.

Coach: Mike Buntin.

Top players: Baileigh O’Dell (Jr, 5-2, guard), Stacia Payne (Sr, 5-8, guard), Courtney Risenhoover (Soph, 5-11, forward).

Path to state: Area III consolation champion. Verdigris began the playoffs 3-0 with a district victory over Newkirk and regional wins over Vian and Kansas. Following an area championship loss to Adair, the Cardinals beat Eufaula, 51-45, to qualify for the state tournament.

Notes: The Cardinals lost to Prague in the first round of the state tournament last season. ... Verdigris has never won a state championship in girls basketball. ... Verdigris is 10-4 against ranked teams this season but only 1-3 against top-five clubs ... O’Dell is Verdigris’ leading scorer at 17 points per game. She also records 5.2 assists a game. Risenhoover leads Verdigris in rebounding at 6.5 a game.



Hugo Buffaloes

Record: 19-8.

Ranking: No. 18.

Coach: Chris Scott.

Top players: Tracy Holman (Sr, 5-6 guard), Teila Fleeks (Jr, 5-5, forward), Torrii Tarkington (Soph, 5-6, guard), Beautiful Brown (Soph, 5-6, forward).

Path to state: Area IV consolation champion. Hugo won a district title over Tishomingo before beating Davis and Wilburton in regional action. However, a loss to Sulphur forced Hugo into the area consolation title game against Atoka, which it won 54-43.

Notes: The Buffaloes are making their first trip to the state tournament since 1994. ... Hugo has never won a state championship. ... The Buffaloes started the season 0-3, including a loss to Atoka to state the season. ... Hugo has only beaten one top-10 team during the season, and that was a 58-36 rout of Tishomingo in the playoffs.



Perkins-Tryon Demons

Record: 26-0.

Ranking: No. 2.

Coach: Jerry Burnett.

Top players: Lacey Shipp (Sr), Joran Gorham (Sr), McKenzie Stanford (Sr), Jeri Adkism (Jr).

Path to state: Area I champion. A 39-30 win over Oklahoma Christian School has been Perkins’ closest game during the playoffs. Perry was no match for Perkins during district play, and neither were Chisholm and OCS during regionals. The Demons beat Sequoyah 56-27 in the area finals.

Notes: Perkins lost to Fort Gibson in the semifinals of the 4A state tournament last season. ... This is Perkins’ third straight trip to the state tournament. ... The Demons have yet to face a top-five team yet this season.



Sulphur Bulldogs

Record: 27-0.

Ranking: No. 1.

Coach: Toby Todd

Top players: Ashley Hughes, Tierani Richardson.

Path to state: Area IV champion. Sulphur’s 49-27 victory over Hugo has been pretty much been the story of the playoffs for the Bulldogs. Lots of blowouts. Lexington and Atoka were no match for Sulphur after Little Axe was disposed of during district play.

Notes: Sulphur is back in the state tournament for the second straight season. The Bulldogs’ last appearance before that was 1923. ... Sulphur won the prestigious Mid-America Classic in late December. En route to the title, the Bulldogs beat Class B No. 1 Hammon, 6A No. 14 Union and Georgetown (Texas), which is ranked in the top five in the Lone Star State.



Lindsay Leopards

Record: 20-8.

Ranking: No. 12.

Coach: Jon Jacques.

Path to state: Area II consolation champion. The Leopards went the long way through the area tournament, winning three games in three days, including a 56-50 victory over Plainview in the area consolation finals. Lindsay’s loss in the playoffs came to Millwood in the regional finals.

Notes: Lindsay is back in the state tournament for the first time since 1989. ... The Leopards have three championships (1954, 1962, 1968) in school history.



State tournament schedules

Class 5A girls

Thursday (at Catoosa)

Game 1: East Central vs. Del City, 2 p.m.

Game 2: Deer Creek vs. Collinsville, 3:30 p.m.

Game 3: Shawnee vs. Memorial, 7 p.m.

Game 4: Tahlequah vs. Carl Albert, 8:30 p.m.

Friday (at Mabee Center)

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

Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday (at Mabee Center)

Game 7: Championship game, 6 p.m.



Class 3A boys

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, TBD.

Game 6: Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, TBD.

Saturday (at State Fair Arena)

Game 7: Championship game, TBD.

* Semifinal and final times will be released on Tuesday.