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Oklahoma girls basketball playoff roundup: Plenty of exciting finishes in Classes A-B districts

Defending Class A champion Seiling, Class B top-ranked Hammon roll in district championship games

By Christian Potts 

Seiling photo by Michael Kinney

Multiple close calls and even a few upsets dotted the opening weekend of the Class A and B high school girls basketball playoffs.

But several of the state's elite championship contenders in both classes flexed their muscle with impressive district championship victories to set those squads rolling down the runway toward takeoff for a potential gold ball ending.

One of the surprises came from Quinton, which entered the Class A postseason with a 17-5 record but one that hadn't impressed enough voters, as the Lady Savages were unranked. But they made a big statement in the District 3 championship game of Area III, rolling past No. 13 Allen, 50-31, a day after topping Crowder, 42-22 in a first-round game.

Quinton now finds itself in potentially a favorite's role in the regional semifinal round, facing Keota, with a regional final date for the victor looming after that, likely against No. 4 Riverside, the top seed in Area III.

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No. 19 Tushka, which defeated No. 2 powerhouse Caddo in a regular season game two weeks ago, stumbled against Waurika in the District 7 title game in Class A Area I, falling 51-47. They now would have to duplicate the run their boys squad made a year ago and win six games in a row the next two weeks to reach the state tournament.

Other ranked teams who suffered close calls in Class A were No. 12 Frontier, which went right to the wire before topping Hominy, 45-44, and No. 16 Oklahoma Bible Academy, which held off Cherokee, 45-39.

All of Class B's 20 ranked squads claimed district titles, but multiple teams suffered scares. Among those, No. 6 Whitesboro had a close battle throughout before getting past Leflore, 45-38, and No. 16 Earlsboro survived an upset bid from Asher, prevailing 40-38.

No. 13 Stuart trailed at halftime before rallying past McCurtain, 43-34, setting up a regional semifinal showdown in Area IV with No. 9 Calvin on Thursday night.

The postseason is divided into four areas, with each sending two qualifiers to the state tournament March 1-4 in Oklahoma City after the regional round, which takes place Thursday through Saturday, and the area tournament, taking place Feb. 23-25.

More highlights from district play in each class and area included:

Class A

Area I is made up primarily of southwest Oklahoma schools. The aforementioned Caddo squad scored an impressive opening victory, 79-19, against Ringling, while No. 6 Cyril and No. 10 Canute also scored dominant victories.

Area II also saw three top 10-ranked squads - No. 3 Vanoss, No. 7 Okarche and No. 9 Arapaho-Butler - start off strong with district title wins.

The top two seeds in Area III both rolled, as No. 4 Riverside took down Verden, 82-19, while No. 8 Red Oak dispatched of Gans, 62-19.

Top-ranked Seiling - the defending Class A state champion - started Area IV play with a dominant 84-28 win against Waukomis. The Lady Wildcats will be on their home floor for the regional tournament round this coming weekend as well, next facing Covington-Douglas, a 36-32 winner against Pond Creek-Hunter.

Class B

In Area I, made up of squads spread throughout western Oklahoma, No. 2 Lomega, a traditional powerhouse, started its playoff run by cruising past Cimarron, 90-16. No. 8 Arnett and No. 11 Leedey also advanced on the other side of the bracket.

Area II saw No. 1 ranked Hammon roll, 75-21, on its home court against Sweetwater for a district title. Hammon dropped three of its final four games of the regular season to tough larger school competition, but owns a win against Lomega this season.

Defending Class B state champion No. 3 Pittsburg is the top ranked squad in Area III, and the Lady Panthers started their title defense with a 76-16 district title triumph against Wapanucka. No. 7 Buffalo Valley, the highest ranked squad on the other side of the bracket in Area III, cruised past Eagletown, 73-29.

Area IV's top seed is No. 4 ranked Varnum, which rolled to a district title Saturday. But the only undefeated team in the area is South Coffeyville, which stayed perfect at 23-0 after district tournament triumphs against Bluejacket and Copan.

In all, 64 teams from each class advanced to next weekend's regional play. But only 24 will survive next weekend and reach the area tournament.