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Oklahoma girls basketball playoff roundup: Postseason experience helping Lomega make another run in Class B

Things generally hold to form in district playoffs for Classes 2A-4A

By Christian Potts

Lomega girls basketball photo by Lomega Public Schools Facebook page

Lomega knows all about playoff basketball.

The Lady Raiders have played for the Class B state championship the last three years, winning twice and only losing a three-peat to a hard-fought 53-51 defeat to Pittsburg in last year's title game. In all, they've played in eight of the last 11 Class B title games, winning five of those.

But like everyone else in the state, they have to progress through the playoff bracket to find their way to the Big House in March. And the Lady Raiders found themselves in a close game with neighboring rival Dover in a Class B regional championship game Saturday night, trailing quite a bit of the first half and only leading by six at the break.

Then, Abby Swart started raining in shots from everywhere. Swart hit five third-quarter 3-point shots, three of them in less than a minute, and Lomega blew open the contest for a 79-54 victory against the No. 12-ranked Lady Longhorns.

Swart finished with 26 points, Sydni Walker added 18 and Darcy Roberts scored 15 for Lomega, which is one of the eight squads still unbeaten in the Class B postseason. Lomega is next headed to the area tournament championship game for a date with the winner of Monday's contest between No. 8 Arnett and No. 11 Leedey, which was part of a regional delayed due to weather concerns in northwest Oklahoma on Thursday.

Dover got a game-best 30 points from Karlee Harviston and will be one of 16 Class B girls squads that need to win three games in a row this coming week to reach the state tournament.

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Meanwhile, the playoffs got started in Classes 2A, 3A and 4A, with things largely holding to form on the girls side.

That included last year's Class 4A finalists putting on sweltering defensive performances in opening victories. No. 3 Tuttle took down Cache, 70-33, while No. 12 Classen SAS took down McLoud, 67-17.

The Lady Comets have gone through some growing pains after losing multiple key players to graduation after last year's dominating title run. But they seem to be rounding into form, including a victory against 3A No. 1 Washington in the final week of the regular season.

In all, it's a weekend that saw more than 100 girls and boys teams eliminated in Classes A and B, while also setting the stage for how difficult next weekend's regional tournament run may be for more than 100 teams in Classes 2A, 3A and 4A.

More stories from around the playoffs:

Class 4A

Brett Sanders knows how to win games at this time of year. And the coach's Elgin Lady Owls started the postseason on a winning note, taking down No. 20 Community Christian, 48-37, behind 17 points from freshman Kelby Carter.

That's the good news for an Elgin squad that went just 3-20 a year ago but now is 14-10 in the 2022-23 season. But the bad news is Elgin next draws No. 3 Bethany, fresh off a 94-56 beating of OKC Bishop McGuinness to win its district title.

Another top-flight coach in 4A had a historic night in the opening weekend. Longtime Perkins-Tryon coach Jerry Burnett collected his 700th career coaching victory as the Lady Demons toppled OKC Heritage Hall, 46-42.

Class 3A

No. 2 Bethel scored a huge win against two-time defending state champion and No. 3 Jones in the final week of the regular season in a late tuneup for both squads. And both looked sharp on the opening weekend, easily securing district title triumphs.

The road for Jones could get tricky, with a regional semifinal Thursday against Oklahoma CIty Millwood and possible games looming against No. 11 Morris and No. 5 Kiefer in a bid just to get back to try to defend its title.

Also rolling in 3A district play were 2022 3A state runner-up and No. 4 Idabel, led by 6-foot-6 post player Mary Carden, and No. 6 Luther, which has one of the most dynamic backcourts in the 3A division.

Class 2A

Dale's boys squad has drawn plenty of attention for its wildly successful season, but the girls team is going about its business this year quite well, too.

The Lady Pirates improved to 25-1 overall by beginning their postseason with a 65-30 romp against Wynnewood. Dale's girls, who hold the No. 1 ranking in the class, will host Wewoka in the first game of the regional round and are heavy favorites to advance through Area III competition.

Potentially looming down the road for Dale is Cashion, which rolled to a 63-45 district tournament triumph against No. 16 Stroud. The unranked Lady Wildcats will face Christian Heritage next, with the winner facing the Dale-Wewoka winner in a regional final on Saturday.

Class A

The top squads in the class continue to look strong. And that's setting up some big-time matchups for next week's area tournament.

Top-ranked defending state champion Seiling cruised past No. 16 Oklahoma Bible, 66-43, and next will face No. 12 Frontier, which upset No. 5 Garber, 48-43. The rest of the favorites all advanced unscathed, setting up area final contests between No. 2 Caddo and No. 6 Cyril; No. 3 Vanoss versus No. 7 Okarche; and No. 4 Riverside against No. 8 Red Oak.

No. 19 Tushka was the first ranked team in any division to be eliminated, bowing out in a close 40-38 tussle against Geronimo on the first day of regional play. By the end of the weekend, they had been joined on the sidelines by No. 13 Allen, No. 15 Hydro-Eakly and No. 20 Wright City. 

Class B

Class B's top teams are finding the road smooth so far.

No. 1 Hammon has a win against the aforementioned Lomega squad, and they have looked the part of a top team so far this postseason, adding to their run with a 73-28 beating of No. 18 Sentinel for a regional championship.

The defending champions from Pittsburg are ranked No. 3 and also looked strong on Saturday night, toppling Kiowa, 55-33, for a regional title.

The final top area seed was No. 4 Varnum, which took down previously undefeated No. 15 South Coffeyville, 60-50, to claim a regional title in Area IV. They'll next face No. 6 Whitesboro, which outlasted No. 9 Calvin, 42-38, to advance.