Tahlequah Daily Press

High School Sports

March 5, 2013

Class 3A girls state tournament preview


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.

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