• Three hoops teams claim regional titles (Feb. 23 and Feb. 26)
Without starting shooting guard Randee O’Donnell, the Class 5A No. 7 Tahlequah girls rolled to a 68-63 victory over Chickasha for the program’s first regional championship in girls basketball since 2001. Marisa Girdner led the way for Tahlequah with 19 points.
“I’m really proud of the girls; they came together,” Tahlequah coach Chad Walker said. “They were really feeding off of that and feeding off all the naysayers. I’m proud of them.”
A few days later, both Sequoyah teams won Class 3A regional titles in Okmulgee. After being delayed a couple of days by dicey winter weather, the Sequoyah boys downed Henryetta, 63-49, while the Sequoyah girls walloped Henryetta, 80-41.
• NSU teams win in Jack Dobbins Field House finale (Feb. 27)
A raucous crowd at a soldout Jack Dobbins Field House watched as both NSU teams posted victories over Central Oklahoma in the final games ever played in the historic venue. The men needed overtime to subdue the Bronchos, 83-71, while the NSU women prevailed late in a 64-58 decision.
“That put a cap on what was a great evening for Northeastern State,” NSU coach Larry Gipson said.
• Lady Tigers punch ticket to state (Feb. 28)
Marisa Girdner was the only Tahlequah player to score in double figures with 14 points, but it was enough for the Lady Tigers to beat Memorial, 43-36, in the Class 5A area championship game at the Chieftain Center in Sapulpa. With the win, Tahlequah claimed its first spot in the state tournament since 2001.
“We’ve been building for this ever since we let a regional championship slip away last year,” Tahlequah coach Chad Walker said. “These girls have been through a lot and done more than we’ve asked them to do.”
• Sequoyah teams claim state tournament spots (March 1-2)
On March 1, the Sequoyah boys knocked off 3A No. 1 Centennial, 71-67, in overtime of the area championship game at Ed Dubie Fieldhouse in Sand Springs. T.J. Jones led the way with 20 points for Sequoyah, which rallied from an 18-point deficit in the second half.
“We didn’t play perfect, we played hard enough and believed and got the job done,” Sequoyah coach Jay Herrin said. “I couldn’t be any prouder of my kids.”
On the next night, the Sequoyah girls hammered Oklahoma Christian School in the area consolation title game, 64-49, for a spot in the 3A state tournament.