Washington, OK 73093
Record: 10-3 | Rank: 7
|vs Metro Christian|
|vs Holland Hall|
OSSAA 2nd Round
|vs Community Christian||W||62-7|
|@ Crooked Oak||W||6-46|
|vs Little Axe||W||49-6|
|@ Star Spencer||W||12-56|
| Ben Johnson
No introduction needed. Here are the "expert" picks for state tournaments taking place this weekend. (Oh, and listen to the podcast while you're at it!)
Ben Johnson - Edmond Memorial: There are so many players to love in this field -- Putnam City West’s Rondel Walker, Sapulpa’s Camryn Dennis, Putnam City North’s Micah Thomas, Booker T. Washington’s Bryce Thompson and so many more. But Shane Cowherd is bringing a team with talent across the board. There’s a reason the coaches in the state have the Bulldogs as the top-ranked team, so I’ll side with Cowherd and Co. over Booker T. Washington in the finals.
Michael Swisher - Edmond Memorial: The Bulldogs snuck in after losing to Midwest City and squeaking by rival Santa Fe. They’ll play better this week and bring the trophy down south.
Whitt Carter - Booker T Washington: This will be a fantastic tournament filled with teams that can win it. But I’ll take the Hornets, as they have the experience in big games and are hungry for a title. They had to watch Memorial win two in a row in Class 5A and this year their get one of their own. Another side note, BTW’s Seth Hurd is my favorite and the most underappreciated player in the state.
Ben - PC West: Reckless abandon is what the Patrios will play with this weekend, just like they’ve done all year. Not a ton of big-time scorers for PC West, but last year’s runner-up will hoist the gold ball this year.
Michael - Putnam City West: No. 1 in Oklahoma. Nationally-ranked. Haven’t lost to a team from Oklahoma. Won’t this weekend, either.
Whitt - Putnam City West: They were right there last year and had their title taken in the waning seconds by Owasso. All they’ve done this year is go 23-1 with a loss to Skyline, TX and dominate the teams inside the state of Oklahoma. Their relentless style of play and approach will be the difference, as they finish on Saturday this time and cut down the nets.
Ben - Memorial: Boone twins. It’s that simple. The Chargers have been a dynamo in 5A with two straight titles and now going for a third. Northwest Classen is good, but can Davion Warden and Co. make it to the title game and then take down the Chargers? I don’t see it.
Michael - Memorial: Lenny Hatchett has Del City playing so well, but I can’t pick against Memorial. Neither should you.
Whitt - Memorial: Let’s all be honest, this is the easiest pick from any of the classes. Bobby Allison and gang are just on another level. The Boone twins will, once again, wow the crowds at the Mabee Center with their athleticism and impact on both ends of the floor. The Chargers get another one, sending Kalib and Keylan out with a bang.
Ben - Piedmont: Per usual, the 5A girls field is pretty much anyone’s for the taking. Rogers is dangerous, but then so is El Reno with Ashlyn Evans-Thompson leading the charge. Coweta is young but talented, and East Central is always a threat. But for this year, I’ll go with the Wildcats, led by Delanie Crawford (14.8 points a game) and Maci Attalla (13.6).
Michael - Piedmont: El Reno beating Ardmore at area put the bracket in a funk as it appears loaded at the bottom. Coach Carr’s team will emerge from that and then claim gold on Saturday.
Whitt - Ardmore: They suffered a surprising and tough loss to El Reno at the area tournament last week, but I think that may work to the Lady Tigers advantage by waking them up. This team rolled through the first part of the season, losing their first game in late January. Ardmore cuts down the nets and gets its’ third gold ball.
Ben - Kingfisher: Some unbelievable talent in this field -- Broken Bow’s Josh Jones (20.4 points per game), Central’s B.J. Jefferson (16), Elgin’s Conner Slater (16.3), Kingfisher’s Trey Green (17) and Heritage Hall’s Trey Alexander (24.8). And what’s scary is a lot of these teams will return a lot of talent next season. But for now, I’m zeroing in on a Kingfisher-Heritage Hall title game for a second straight year. This time the gold ball goes to Jett Sternberger, Matt Stone, Bijan Cortes and Co.
Michael - Kingfisher: I live in Kingfisher. I have to pay my bills. I have to pick the Yellowjacket. Oh, and they’re really, really good. And hungry. If they get by dangerous Elgin in the quarters, look out.
Whitt - Kingfisher: The class that everyone is excited for will take center stage at the Fairgrounds for all three days. Heritage Hall beat the Yellowjackets in the title game last year and are 26-0 this year. But the star-studded Kingfisher remembers that loss last March and will want revenge. They get it and send out their seniors with a second gold ball.
Ben - Anadarko: Top half of the bracket -- Holland Hall, Muldrow, Elgin and Classen SAS -- is STACKED. Again, STACKED. That’s part of the reason I went with Anadarko. The Warriors still have their work cut out for them, but I’m rolling the dice with Kaylee Borden (12 points a game), Averi Zinn and the rest of the Anadarko team to win its third gold ball.
Michael - Muldrow: Coaches tell me Classen SAS is as talented as they’ve seen in 4A in a while. And they’re young as they start three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior. That said, I’m going with Muldrow. Taylen Collins can match up with Littlepage-Buggs and Hannah Boyett can handle the pressure. And that’s just a semifinal. Don’t overlook Anadarko, either (it appears I am).
Whitt - Anadarko: A fairly wide open class, there are a handful of teams I could see winning it. I’ll go with the tradition-rich Anadarko, who beat one of the favorites, Classen, last Friday in the area finals. When the Lady Warriors get the press up and running, you better handle the pressure or things can unravel quickly.
Ben - Millwood: Kingston’s Jacob Germany is as good as it gets in this field, but I’ll side with the athleticism of the Falcons here. Give me Justin Wilson and Isaiah Williams and the rest of the Falcons.
Michael - Here’s hoping for a Kingston-Millwood final (all apologies to you other six). I’ve got personal ties to Millwood, so the fan in me is pulling for the Falcons all the way. The business side in me says Kingston won’t be denied.
Whitt - Millwood: I’ll take the Falcons to win the gold ball here. Several really good teams that you can pick here, including Kingston or Sequoyah on the other side. Ultimately, I think Millwood gets the winner of that eventual semifinal and beats them. Millwood has not lost inside the class this year and that won’t change this weekend.
Ben - Christian Heritage: Up from 2A, the Crusaders are still loaded. Tahlequah Sequoyah is probably the favorite, but I’ll side with Olivia Curtis and Rylee Langerman.
Michael - Sequoyah-Tahlequah: CHA has won the last two 2A crowns and is a sleeper, but this isn’t 2A and the Lady Crusaders aren’t as deep as they have been. Larry Callison rides into the sunset with another state championship.
Whitt - Christian Heritage: Another class with some big time teams, but I’ll take CHA to win another title as it took the jump up a class this season. They know how to win and ultimately get past Sequoyah in what would be an awesome semifinal. Side note, I am really picking my alma mater, the Sulphur Lady Bulldogs - in Toby Todd we trust.
Ben - Hennessey: Total guess here, so I’m siding with Hennessey, who -- along with Hooker -- has only lost twice this season.
Michael - Hooker: This is the most wide-open bracket in OKC, in my opinion. Any number of teams can win…and also get beat Thursday. Hooker is one of them.
Whitt - Dale: They are coming off a big win over Hooker last week to punch their ticket to the state tourney. They have played well inside the class this year, going 12-2, only losing to Cashion a month ago and Rock Creek back in January.
Ben - Dale: I’m programmed to believe that Dale wins everything when its in any state tournament field. Pirates win again.
Michael - Howe: No Cashion and no CHA this year, which have been Howe’s kryptonite the last three years. Dale is in the way, but Jalei Oglesby caps her stellar career with the gold ball.
Whitt - Latta: I’ll go with what many would consider a sleeper pick here, but give me the Lady Panthers. They are a long team and present a bunch of problems defensively. They will have to get past top-ranked Dale in the semis and it would be the rubbermatch between the two.
| Ben Johnson
Made a big podcast addition this week. Ben & Swisher are joined by the Oklahoman's Jacob Unruh.
Jacob & Swisher recap the highlights and the championship moments from the Class A & Class B state tournaments.
Then the guys break down the state tournaments from 2A through 6A. And of course, PREDICTIONS! (Most sure to go wrong, in Ben's case).
And as always, thanks for listening!
| Ben Johnson
Christian Heritage’s coaching staff wanted to give Zach Hale a break. The Crusaders’ senior quarterback/safety had Christian Heritage leading Stroud late in the second quarter, so his coaching staff wanted to give him a moment to catch his breath.
That’s when Stroud’s Colby Davis returned a kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown. Needless to say, Hale didn’t come off the field the rest of the night.
“Funny story now, but it wasn’t funny at the time,” Christian Heritage coach Tony Merrell said. “One of our coaches asked if we could get him off our kickoff team for one play, because he looked tired or something. They immediately ran the next kick back, and Zach let me know -- as it was being returned for a touchdown -- that he is never coming off the field again.”
Then Merrell had a quick second to think.
“I agreed with him,” he said.
And once again, it was Hale and Co. crashing the Class A playoff scene last week. Hale passed for 214 yards and four touchdowns, and he also ran for 52 yards. After four of Christian Heritage’s five touchdowns, Hale also had a hand in the successful two-point conversions.
On defense, Hale recorded 13 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery to guide the Crusaders into their first semifinal appearance.
“He has been so good, and he’s an All-State safety and he keeps getting better as a quarterback,” Merrell said. “We have so many guys that are playing at a high level, and it’s just fun to be part of.”
Up next for Christian Heritage (9-4) is a date with third-ranked Rejoice Christian at Cushing High School in the semifinals. The Crusaders are a game away from the title game after taking down Ringling, Thomas and Stroud to this point.
“Oh man, what a run,” Merrell said. “And really, you have to throw Crescent in there after playing them in Week 10. Those are really good football teams with great coaches. We are playing at a really high level, and to be honest, we are still getting better. We have guys playing their best games of the year these last few weeks.”
No. 5 Sperry vs. Adair
Where: Lantow Field (Claremore High School)
- Sperry 44, Eufaula 13: Beau Teel passed for 132 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 73 yards and two more touchdowns for the Pirates. Joe Whiteley added three sacks on defense, and he caught four passes for 96 yards for a touchdown for Sperry.
- Adair 38, Vian 27: Austin Hines passed for 360 yards and four touchdowns, and Barrett Bradbury caught 12 passes for 147 yards and three touchdowns. Bradbury then added 18 tackles on defense.
Need to know
- The all-time series is tied at 3-3. The last meeting was last season -- a 50-26 win for Sperry.
- Adair appeared in back-to-back semifinals in 2015 and 2016, going 1-1 with a win over Chisholm in 2015. The Warriors went on to win their only title the same season.
- Sperry has gone 1-5 in semifinal games. The Pirates’ only win was in 1968 -- 8-0 against Marietta.
Metro Christian vs. No. 3 Beggs
Where: Collins Stadium (Sapulpa High School)
- Beggs 36, Kingston 31: TJ Austin scored the game-winning touchdown with 50 seconds left as Beggs rallied to knock off the Redskins.
- Metro Christian 34, Washington 28: Ryan Johnson rushed for 130 yards and caught nine passes for 130 yards. The Patriots turned back Washington on fourth-and-goal late in the fourth quarter to preserve the victory.
Need to know
- The all-time series is 1-1. The last meeting was in 2003 -- a 48-13 win for Metro Christian.
- The Patriots are 1-1 in the semifinals. The lone win was in 2010 against Anadarko.
- Beggs is 3-1 in the semifinals. The Demons beat Sulphur 37-28 in the semifinals last year before losing to John Marshall in the Class 3A playoffs.