Southwest Oklahoma’s best basketball teams flexed their muscle in racing to tournament titles Saturday while other teams made statements even though its way too early to start slapping “state title contender” on a rather strong list of area programs.
The Anadarko girls and the MacArthur boys rolled to claim titles in the Midfirst Warrior Classic in Anadarko. At the Black Diamond Classic, the No. 2 Cyril boys needed a late free throw just to get past upset-minded Velma-Alma, avenging the girls team’s loss earlier. The Eisenhower girls beat Elk City to win the Hub City Classic in Clinton.
And, several other city and area teams showed the type of improvement that will boost their chance of getting a good seeding when that process begins in earnest next month.
MacArthur girls were able to put plenty of points on the board against El Reno but in the end the Highlanders were unable to defend well enough down the stretch in an 85-76 loss in the third-place game at the Midfirst Warrior Classic in Anadarko.
Cache girls lost to Plainview in the finals of the Lone Grove Tournament and it was some defensive issues that cause the problems for the Bulldogs in the second quarter where they produced just six points.
“We got overextended at times and they were attacking the middle and we just couldn’t get out on their shooters fast enough,” Cache girls coach Kerry White said. “We also got hurt on the boards early and we got hurt in transition there in the second quarter when they stretched out their lead.
“We just didn’t get out on them at times and they knocked down some big shots. We didn’t play very well last night (Friday) and this seemed to be similar where our execution just needed to be better on both ends.”
Cloe Heidebrecht led Cache with 19 while Kyla Bonnarens and Kayla Neido each produced 14.
Anadarko girls rolling
There is good reason the Anadarko girls are ranked No. 1 and gaining momentum with each outing because Coach Jeff Zinn has a group that has all thje ingredients for success.
He has the veteran leaders like point guard Averi Zinn, but he also has a wealth of depth that includes players who can shoot the ball and play his brand of tough defense.
The Warriors totally devastated the attack of the 6A Millers, forcing turnovers throughout the game and holding the Millers to less than eight points in each of the four quarters.
Kaylee Borden led the attack with 15, Tarin Tyler added 12 and Layni Zinn and Libbi Zinn each produced 10 for the powerful Warriors.
Mac boys dominate El Reno early, often
The MacArthur boys hadn’t been 100 percent healthy until this week.
On Saturday, the Highlanders showed that when healthy, they’re a force to be reckoned with.
Brandon Cowan had 19 points, Montez Edwards had 18 and nine Highlanders registered points. Mac coach Marco Gagliardi said it was the best his team has played all season.
“Our defense was just digging in from the start,” Gagliardi said. “That was the most complete game we’ve played all season. We passed well, defended well.”
Just a few days after beating Class 5A’s No. 1-ranked Piedmont, the Mac girls were confronted by another 5A foe in El Reno and the Indians jumped out of the gates and never looked back in their 85-76 win.
The Highlanders were unable to get their defense going early, allowing the 5A foe to outscore Mac 22-10 in the first eight minutes and take command.
Erin Henry was able to nail some 3-point buckets en route to 17-point scoring leadership but the Indians had too much inside might and that eventually determined the outcome.