Flip a Coin: these 6A Toss Ups will Define Regionals
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For Class 4A and down, the playoffs are a true double elimination set up. For Oklahoma’s largest classifications (6A and 5A), the opening round games are cruel. Win or go home. After that it becomes double elimination to make State.…
For Class 4A and down, the playoffs are a true double elimination set up. For Oklahoma’s largest classifications (6A and 5A), the opening round games are cruel. Win or go home. After that it becomes double elimination to make State.
32 teams will become 16 on Friday, meaning that many quality teams will see their season come to a bittersweet end.
Outside of the elite teams, Class 6A has seen different teams catch fire at various points, or simply traded losses like a hot potato all season. Now with the finish line in sight, here’s a look at possibly the most competitive first round match ups in 6A.
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#6 Northwest Classen vs #11 Norman North
A few years ago, Northwest Classen was a power in Class 5A but redistricting and school changes in OKCPS pushed the Knights up to Class 6A. Since then, they have remained a dark horse type squad, and it is often hard to judge where they stack up against fellow 6A programs. They still have remained competitive, as just a couple years ago after upsetting a top 10 Choctaw team, they were only a game away from state.
Consider this, of their 21 games, only a third of them have come against teams in 6A. Now they have stacked up well in those match ups with a 5-2 mark, the only two blemishes coming against Lawton and Norman, which is nothing to be ashamed of. The Knights do a good of balancing their schedule by playing in loaded in season tournaments. One concern for them if they are able to advance will be how they match up with some of the size of the bigger teams in the Class. But sophomore guardcaught the eye earlier this year and leads a strong group of guards.
On opening night for the Timberwolves, they played defending champs Edmond North close for over three quarters. A barrage of three pointers separated the two teams, but it did look like they had what it took to be a spoiler this season. Fast forward a month and a half, and Norman North was 2-10 going into the John Nobles Tournament. They finally lived up to their spoiler potential by upending a then top 5 ranked Lawton team, played Class 3A contender Millwood close, then blew out a feisty Southmoore team. They doubled their win total on the season over a three game span.
North is 7-1 since that mid January tournament. With quality wins over Deer Creek, Mustang, Moore, Westmoore and rivals Norman. It’s been a rotating cast of characters stepping up from senior guards, and , junior guard Noah Jones to sophomore two sport standout . They look to be peaking at the right time to be a sneaky pick to be playing on Saturday night (or even Friday night) of Area, with a State Tournament berth on the line.
#7 Deer Creek vs #10 Edmond Santa Fe
This will be meeting number four for the two programs on the northside of the OKC metro. A pair of regular season contests, including one last week and a surprise meeting in the finals of the McGuinness Classic in early January, all went the way of the Antlers. Can they make it 4 for 4 or will Santa Fe finally breakthrough?
Deer Creek has a pair of in season tournament wins, McGuinness Classic and as tournament hosts of the Bruce Gray, bolstering their resume. They have since then closed out the season with 5 game winning streak. While their backcourt is younger, explosive sophomoreand speedy freshman have emerged as top producers in the class. While silky has stepped up a skilled perimeter scorer. An exciting X-Factor for the Antlers off the bench is junior Jeremiah Deering, a 6 foot 5 explosive, above the rim finisher.
Injuries started in the preseason and seemingly never let up for Santa Fe this year. After a 1-7 start to the season, the month of January saw them climb above .500. But they are limping into the playoffs with a 2-4 mark in the month of February. While his future likely lies on the gridiron,has been a rock for the Wolves in a handful of recently viewed games. The 6 foot 3 forward plays much bigger than his size due to strength and intensity, as a great finisher around the rim.
#8 Edmond Memorial vs #9 Mustang
It speaks to the consistency of the Bulldog program that an 12-10 mark is a surprise. Still their ability to control the pace of the game and run their system will give them the chance to upset any team in the state. Just ask Edmond North last week. For Memorial to get a chance to pull off one of those upsets, they’ll need to get by Mustang. Earlier this month, they stifled the Broncos in a 52-34 victory. The defense will likely be there, but to score the buckets needed to advance it’ll likely come from production from their inside-outside duo ofand . The hard hat wearing, senior forward Hjelmstad has been a double-double rock for the Bulldogs, while junior guard Pedulla has shown recent signs of being a strong, athletic and dynamic slasher
Mustang ended the season on a slide, as before a win last week against Yukon they had lost 7 straight. For the Broncos to find their midseason form and breakthrough on Friday they have a 1-2 punch that needs to be producing on Friday night. In this case it’s the backcourt duo ofand . The lanky sophomore, Miller is developing into one of the most complete scorers in the state. While Johnson is headed to Norman for football, basketball has always been at the forefront of his athletic accomplishments. Would it be shocking if the talented and athletic scorer, sparks a run from the Broncos?
#8 Union vs #9 Southmoore
A contrast of styles, which is fitting for a Westside program (Southmoore) traveling across I-44 to play an Eastside Program (Union). Union with juniorand freshman have one of the best frontlines in the state. Meanwhile, Southmoore is filled guards that can fill it up from beyond the arc.
Union has been one of the more up and down teams in the state. They’ve had a mix of head scratching losses, while last week they had undefeated Broken Arrow on the ropes in the fourth quarter. To earn a rematch of that contest, they will need to lean on the advantage they have inside with the aforementioned duo of Madrid and Flemons. And while Southmoore is a team deep with shooters, junior guardfor the Redhawks could lay claim to being the best shooter on the floor. He was recently offered by Nebraska Omaha for his floor spacing abilities, which will be needed to open up the paint for his teammates.
The Sabercats have a three headed attacked in their skilled backcourt. Senioris a broad shoulder sharpshooter, junior has a dynamic finishing package for a smaller guard, and freshman has provided a steady scoring punch with shooting and driving abilities. Do it all seniors and Kaedon Bonner will be crucial in filling in the gaps. Especially with Bonner’s size and athleticism on the glass.