Teams to watch
- Jenks: The Class 6A No. 6 Trojans return to Muskogee, the site of their most recent regular-season win. Jenks blasted Muskogee, 70-52, on Friday, and don't be surprised if the Trojans do the same to first-round opponent Hale on Tuesday night. The Trojans, 5-3 entering the tournament, are led by Jacob Seidel, who is averaging 18.1 points per game.
- Webster: Don't focus in too much on the Warriors' record (3-5). Losers of their last three games, the Warriors have spent most of their season taking on top-10 teams in the Tulsa area. Four of Webster's five losses have come against top-10 clubs, Tulsa Memorial (5A No. 5), Victory Christian (4A No. 5), Edison (5A No. 3) and Tulsa Central (4A No. 8). And only the Memorial game, played in mid November, was a blow out. Kortney Smith leads the Warriors with 15.8 points per game.
- Oktaha: The Tigers, ranked second in 2A, are 10-0 and have rarely been challenged this season. Led by Dustin Leach, Christian McIntosh and Blake Pittman, Oktaha looks to win its second tournament title of the season, after claiming the Crowder tournament crown in December.
- Muskogee: The Kelsey McClure-led Roughers are aiming for their second tournament championship this season, after dispatching of Tahlequah in the UKB Tiger Invitational finals in December. Interestingly enough, Muskogee has yet to win within Muskogee city limits, winning all five of their games away from home. Muskogee, though, should face little resistance until a finals matchup with either McAlester or Hilldale.
- Oktaha: Perhaps the Shrine Classic is where Oktaha will face its first legitimate opponent of the season. To this point, the Tigers have demolished teams from 3A No. 14 Henryetta (Oktaha's highest-ranked opponent) to Hartshorne JV. But, to Oktaha's credit, it is 10-0 heading into the Shrine Classic. A first-round game with Summit Christian should be a gimme, but Oktaha could face a challenge against Hulbert in the second round or Sequoyah in the finals.
Local teams in Shrine Classic
- Sequoyah boys: With Caisen Green back in the mix, the Indians, ranked 15th in 3A, seem ready to gear up for 2013 portion of the schedule. Sequoyah beat Cascia Hall on Saturday and will take on Webster in the first round of the tournament on Tuesday at the Muskogee Civic Center.
- Sequoyah girls: The Class 3A No. 11 Indians have struggled to hit their stride yet, but a team with Courtney Jones, Baylee Ratliff, Kelsey Leach and Audrey Ballou in the regular rotation should find success before too long. A first-round game against Graham should pose too much of a threat, and it'll be played Tuesday at 4:30 at the Civic Center.
- Hulbert boys: The Riders are coming off a 69-33 loss to Sallisaw Central on Friday night. Hulbert, for the second time this season, will take on Porter in the first round of the tournament.
- Hulbert girls: After coming up short in the third-place game last season in the Shrine Classic, the Riders have the ability to challenge for the crown this year. Tiffany Thompson, Allison Arnall, and Lindsey Krueger make up a formidable trio for Hulbert. The tournament starts for the Riders today at 4:30 against Haskell.
Ben's Shrine title game picks
Large school boys winner: Jenks over Webster.
Large school girls winner: Muskogee over Hilldale.
Small school boys winner: Oktaha over Porter.
Small school girls winner: Sequoyah over Oktaha.