Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

February 20, 2013

Class 2A/3A basketball playoff previews

Class 2A boys

Area III (Claremore)

• The favorite: Northeast. Yet, the No. 1 Vikings have six losses. However, those have come against teams in 4A through 6A, most notably 4A No. 1 Douglass 6A No. 2 Edmond Memorial.

• Other contenders: Ketchum and Tonkawa. Ketchum is still waiting for a team to challenge it this season. The Warriors appear to charging hard toward a state-tournament invitation.

• Potential games to watch

- Tonkawa vs. Ketchum (regional finals at Rogers); Northeast vs. Region II winner (area finals at Claremore)

• State bound: Northeast (area champ); Ketchum (area runner-up).

Area I (Chisholm Trail Expo in Enid)

• The favorite: Merritt. The Oilers haven't exactly played a difficult schedule, but 24 wins vs. zero losses is still impressive.

• Other contenders: Pawnee, Alva, Hooker. All sport solid records, but it's Pawnee that is no stranger to the state tournament, winning a state title as recently as 2010.

• Potential games to watch

- Alva vs. Pawnee (regional final at Chisholm); Merritt vs. Thomas (regional final at Heritage Hall); Region I winner vs. Region II winner (area final at Chisholm Trial Expo).

• State bound: Merritt (area champ); Pawnee (area runner-up).

Area II (Anadarko)

• The favorite: Latta. A week ago, No. 7 Dale might of been in this spot. However, Dale lost in districts and a team that loses in district play instantly becomes a long shot to make the state tournament. That said, Latta stands to be the beneficiary of Dale's shortcomings.

• Other contenders: Hinton, Fairview, Konawa. The regional finals could make or break teams in this area. An upset of Dale could be the kind of boost that Konawa needs moving forward.

• Potential games to watch

- Fairview vs. Latta (regional finals at Minco); Konawa vs. Hinton (regional finals at Rush Springs).

• State bound: Latta (area champs); Hinton (area runner-up).

Area IV (Wilburton)

• The favorite: Haworth. The Lions were last year's 2A runner-up and a return trip to the state tournament seems highly probable.

• Other contenders: Rattan, Wewoka, Oktaha. Judging by opponents played, Rattan seems to have the inside track to the state tournament. The Rams have played quality competition while Wewoka and Oktaha have navigated through soft schedules.

• Potential games to watch

- Wewoka vs. Oktaha (regional final at Talihina); Rattan vs. Haworth (regional final at Crowder).

• State bound: Haworth (area champ); Rattan (area runner-up).

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