The Pryor Times

Sports

March 13, 2012

Watching the season dribble away

Three teams finish perfectly

As Championship Saturday transitioned into Selection Sunday, March Madness was officially under way.

The high schoolers completed their part of basketball’s spring ritual on Saturday with 10 state champions being crowned in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

A few hours later, moved along a little quicker by the advent of Daylight Saving Time, the collegians stepped into the hoops spotlight, unwrapping their lineup for the 68-team NCAA tournament that popularly gave rise to the term “the big dance.”

Three high school teams — Edmond Santa Fe girls, Shawnee girls, and Union’s boys — finished off perfect seasons Saturday in Tulsa. The Anadarko girls, with a single loss, finished the season with 25 straight wins.

In the five classifications that settled state championship discussions Saturday, four schools had boys and girls teams in the finals.

In Tulsa, Edmond Memorial lost in the Class 6A boys and girls finals, and Tulsa East Central lost both 5A finals.

In Oklahoma City, Anadarko girls won the 4A title while its boys team was finishing runner-up. In 2A, Oklahoma City Northeast won the boys gold ball, and the girls the silver ball.

Oklahoma City Millwood won the 3A girls championship, defeating Prague, 64-50, in the finals. Millwood eliminated Adair, 61-60, in the first round.

Millwood, which also knocked out No. 1-ranked Kansas, 51-48, in the semifinals, won its third championship after finishing runner-up in each of the last three seasons.

Three teams repeated as state champions, and all were from the Oklahoma City area.

Oklahoma Centennial of Oklahoma City defeated Victory Christian, 49-38, in the 3A boys finals for its second championship.

Oklahoma City Douglass won its third straight, downing Anadarko, 86-53, in the 4A boys title game.

And the Edmond Santa Fe girls backed up its 2011 gold ball with the 2012 version.

Two defending state champions reached the title game only to come up short. Edmond Memorial fell to Union, 37-36, in the 6A boys finals, and Fort Gibson’s girls were eclipsed by Anadarko, 46-37, in the 4A girls championship.

A week earlier, in the A and B  championships, only the Forgan boys were able to successfully defend their title.

Three boys teams that competed in Oklahoma’s Tournament of Champions in December won state titles — Union (6A), OC McGuinness (5A) and Forgan (B). Although no girls team from the T of C added state championships, 5A Tulsa East Central (T of C champion) and 4A Fort Gibson did reach their title games.

Union’s boys and Anadarko’s girls have accepted invitations to participate in the Tournament of Champions in December. So, too, have runners-up Arnett (B boys) and East Central’s girls.

The high school season that began with great expectations in November reached its madcap crescendo in March.

Now, the basketball spotlight shifts from the preps to the collegians.

The state of Oklahoma was left out in the foyer during Selection Sunday. No big dance invite was forthcoming for the state’s four NCAA men’s teams.

Still, it is March, and it is hoops, and the bracket madness will be in full swing over the next three weeks.

And although it might not be the biggest dance, Rogers State’s men’s team will be playing in the nation’s longest-running national championship, the NAIA  tournament opening Wednesday in Kansas City.

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