By BEN JOHNSON
Jay Herrin thought he had the Class 3A playoff pairings figured out before they were released. Turns out, the Sequoyah coach didn’t hit the bullseye.
Even he’ll admit it.
“It’s a weird draw,” Herrin said. “It’s not what I expected.”
That was Herrin’s reaction to Sequoyah’s playoff assignment, which was released by the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association on Thursday.
Instead of being with the usual suspects — Keys, Verdigris, Westville, Spiro or Hugo — in the same area assignment, Sequoyah was paired with teams like Chisholm, Oklahoma Christian School, Perry, Perkins, Chandler and Pawhuska. The Indians will start things in district play at home against Haskell on either Feb. 15 or 16.
“Haskell isn’t a great district draw, I don’t think,” Herrin said. “They’re scary, and they have a lot of athleticism.”
Beyond the district round, Sequoyah will compete against the likes of Lincoln Christian, Okmulgee, Beggs, Pawhuska, Chandler and Henryetta in regional-tournament play. Beggs and Henryetta are both in 3A’s top 20 on the boys side, while Beggs is also ranked on the girls side.
“If we beat Haskell, we’ll likely have Beggs on their home floor in the first round of regionals,” said Herrin, whose club will have to travel to Beggs in the first round of regionals before shifting to Okmulgee for the final two rounds.
From there, things get much harder for both Sequoyah teams. On the boys side, No. 1 Oklahoma Centennial and No. 12 Oklahoma Christian School await in the area round. For the Sequoyah girls, No. 2 Perkins-Tryon, No. 13 Kellyville and No. 18 Morris will be the primary threats come area time.
“I’ve never seen it done like this,” Herrin said, referencing the fact teams from the east side of the state and teams from central and north central Oklahoma will converge into one area tournament. “...We’re going to see some we haven’t played.”
Should both Sequoyah teams make the area tournament, it will be played at Charles Page High School in Sand Springs.
“It’s a shock that we’d go to Sand Springs, versus going to the north or to the southeast like we normally do,” Herrin said.
For Keys, it’s not any easier in 3A Area III. For the Cougars, No. 4 Sperry, No. 5 Verdigris, No. 10 Kansas and No. 16 Adair are all in the area. For the Keys girls, No. 4 Adair, No. 14 Eufaula, No. 5 Verdigris and No. 9 Kansas will all likely be lurking.
Keys will open the playoffs at home in district play against Salina. From there, it’s on to Adair for regional-tournament action. The area tournament will be played at the same site the Keys boys earned their first state-tournament berth in school history last year — Harrison Fieldhouse in Fort Gibson.
In Class 2A, Hulbert will be in full-on travel mode, even in district play.
Hulbert will start things off at Liberty High School in district play against Liberty and Mounds.
Beyond that, regional play will be at Carter Fieldhouse at Mounds while the area tournament will be at Claremore High School.
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High school basketball playoff assignments
Area I (at Sand Springs)
District 1 (at Chisholm): Chisholm, Oklahoma Centennial.
District 2 (at Morris): Morris, Oklahoma Christian School.
District 3 (at Nowata): Kellyville, Nowata.
District 4 (at Perry): Perkins, Perry.
Regional main site: Perkins; Regional sub-site: Kellyville.
District 5 (at Lincoln Christian): Lincoln Christian, Okmulgee.
District 6 (at Pawhuska): Beggs, Pawhuska.
District 7 (at Sequoyah): Haskell, Sequoyah.
District 8 (at Henryetta): Chandler, Henryetta.
Regional main site: Okmulgee; Regional sub-site: Beggs.
Area II (at Purcell)
District 1 (at Millwood): ASTEC, Millwood.
District 2 (at Marietta): Lindsay, Marietta.
District 3 (at Meeker): Meeker, Kingfisher.
District 4 (at Frederick): Marlow, Frederick.
Regional main site: Lindsay; Regional sub-site: Marlow.
District 5 (at Plainview): Comanche, Plainview.
District 6 (at Stroud): Crooked Oak, Stroud.
District 7 (at Prague): Harding Fine Arts, Prague.
District 8 (at Jones): Washington, Jones
Regional main site: Washington; Regional sub-site: Prague.
Area III (at Fort Gibson)
District 1 (at Sperry): Chelsea, Sperry.
District 2 (at Keys): Keys, Salina.
District 3 (at Dewey): Adair, Dewey.
District 4 (at Eufaula): Eufaula, Stigler.
Regional main site: Adair; Regional sub-site: Sperry.
District 5 (at Verdigris): Newkirk, Verdigris.
District 6 (at Kansas): Kansas, Wyandotte.
District 7 (at Heavener): Heavener, Hartshorne.
District 8 (at Westville): Vian, Westville.
Regional main site: Muskogee Civic Center; Regional sub-site: Verdigris.
Area IV (Byng)
District 1 (at Sulphur): Little Axe, Sulphur.
District 2 (at Okemah): Holdenville, Okemah.
District 3 (at Valliant): Atoka, Valliant.
District 4 (at Riverside): Lexington, Riverside.
Regional main site: Sulphur; Regional sub-site: Lexington, Atoka.
District 5 (at Hugo): Tishomingo, Hugo.
District 6 (at Spiro): Wilburton, Spiro.
District 7 (at Coalgate): Antlers, Coalgate.
District 8 (at Kingston): Davis, Kingston.
Regional main site: Antlers; Regional sub-site: Tishomingo, Wilburton.
Area I (at Chisholm Trail Expo in Enid)
District 1 (at Hooker): Hooker, Mooreland.
District 2 (at Pioneer-Pleasant Vale): Alva, Morrison, Pioneer-Pleasant Vale.
District 3 (at Cresent): Christian Heritage, Cresent, Depew.
District 4 (at Pawnee): Drumright, Pawnee, Rejoice Christian.
Regional main site: Chisholm; Regional sub-site: Morrison.
District 5 (at Merritt): Mangum, Merritt, Sayre.
District 6 (at Wellston): Community Christian, Hennessey, Wellston.
District 7 (at Burns Flat-Dill City): Burns Flat, Hobart, Thomas Fay-Custer
District 8 (at Ripley): Luther, Ripley, Watonga.
Regional main site: Heritage Hall; Regional sub-site: Watonga, Thomas Fay-Custer.
Area II (at Anadarko)
District 1 (at Fairview): Fairview, Minco, Oklahoma Bible Aca.
District 2 (at Carnegie): Carnegie, Cordell, Walters.
District 3 (at Latta): Latta, Ringling, Wayne.
District 4 (at Snyder): Navajo, Ninnekah, Snyder
Regional main site: Minco; Regional sub-site: Walters.
District 5 (at Dale): Dale, Konawa, Wynnewood.
District 6 (at Amber-Pocasset): Amber-Pocasset, Boone-Apache, Hydro-Eakly.
District 7 (at Hinton): Dibble, Hinton, Rush Springs.
District 8 (at Wilson): Central High, Empire, Wilson.
Regional main site: Rush Springs; Regional sub-site: Wynnewood.
Area III (Claremore)
District 1 (at Northeast): Dove Science, Northeast.
District 2 (at Chouteau): Chouteau, Colcord, Yale.
District 3 (at Quapaw): Commerce, Okla. Union, Quapaw.
District 4 (at Liberty): Hulbert, Mounds, Liberty.
Regional main site: Mounds; Regional sub-site: Colcord.
District 5 (at Tonkawa): Tonkawa, Caney Valley, Hominy.
District 6 (at Ketchum): Afton, Fairland, Ketchum.
District 7 (at Kiefer): Foyil, Kiefer, Okay.
District 8 (at Rogers): Summit Christian, Warner, Rogers.
Regional main site: Rogers; Regional sub-site: Hominy, Foyil.
Area IV (Wilburton)
District 1 (at Stratford): Stratford, Savanna, Wewoka.
District 2 (at Oktaha): Gore, Quinton, Oktaha.
District 3 (at Pocola): Panama, Pocola, Sallisaw Central.
District 4 (at Talihina): Canadian, Talihina, Tushka.
Regional main site: Talihina; Regional sub-site: Panama.
District 5 (at Preston): Crowder, Porter, Preston.
District 6 (at Colbert): Calera, Colbert, Haworth.
District 7 (at Silo): Caddo, Silo, Vanoss.
District 8 (at Wister): Howe, Rattan, Wister
Regional main site: Crowder; Regional sub-site: Colbert.