Classen SAS at NE Comets
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
Record: 3-6 | Unranked
|@ Star Spencer||L||34-0|
|vs John Marshall||L||0-48|
|vs Christian Heritage||L||13-43|
|@ Capitol Hill||W||20-52|
|@ US Grant||L||59-0|
|@ Tulsa NOAH||Missing Score|
|vs Capitol Hill||W||48-12|
|vs Putnam Heights Academy||W||15-0|
| 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 Westís Rondel Walker, Sapulpaís Camryn Dennis, Putnam City Northís Micah Thomas, Booker T. Washingtonís Bryce Thompson and so many more. But Shane Cowherd is bringing a team with talent across the board. Thereís a reason the coaches in the state have the Bulldogs as the top-ranked team, so Iíll 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. Theyíll 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 Iíll 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, BTWís 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 theyíve done all year. Not a ton of big-time scorers for PC West, but last yearís runner-up will hoist the gold ball this year.
Michael - Putnam City West: No. 1 in Oklahoma. Nationally-ranked. Havenít lost to a team from Oklahoma. Wonít 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 theyíve 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. Itís 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 donít see it.
Michael - Memorial: Lenny Hatchett has Del City playing so well, but I canít pick against Memorial. Neither should you.
Whitt - Memorial: Letís 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 anyoneís 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, Iíll 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 Carrís 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 itsí third gold ball.
Ben - Kingfisher: Some unbelievable talent in this field -- Broken Bowís Josh Jones (20.4 points per game), Centralís B.J. Jefferson (16), Elginís Conner Slater (16.3), Kingfisherís Trey Green (17) and Heritage Hallís Trey Alexander (24.8). And whatís scary is a lot of these teams will return a lot of talent next season. But for now, Iím 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 theyíre 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. Thatís part of the reason I went with Anadarko. The Warriors still have their work cut out for them, but Iím 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 theyíve seen in 4A in a while. And theyíre young as they start three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior. That said, Iím going with Muldrow. Taylen Collins can match up with Littlepage-Buggs and Hannah Boyett can handle the pressure. And thatís just a semifinal. Donít 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. Iíll 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: Kingstonís Jacob Germany is as good as it gets in this field, but Iíll side with the athleticism of the Falcons here. Give me Justin Wilson and Isaiah Williams and the rest of the Falcons.
Michael - Hereís hoping for a Kingston-Millwood final (all apologies to you other six). Iíve 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 wonít be denied.
Whitt - Millwood: Iíll 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 wonít change this weekend.
Ben - Christian Heritage: Up from 2A, the Crusaders are still loaded. Tahlequah Sequoyah is probably the favorite, but Iíll side with Olivia Curtis and Rylee Langerman.
Michael - Sequoyah-Tahlequah: CHA has won the last two 2A crowns and is a sleeper, but this isnít 2A and the Lady Crusaders arenít 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 Iíll 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 Iím 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 winÖand 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: Iím 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 Howeís kryptonite the last three years. Dale is in the way, but Jalei Oglesby caps her stellar career with the gold ball.
Whitt - Latta: Iíll 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!
Girls Basketball | | Jacob Unruh | NewsOK
Malcolm Robertsí tenure at Classen SAS is over. Classen SASí girls basketball coach will not return next season. He said he resigned for personal reasons. ďIím finishing up my schooling and thatís really it,Ē Roberts told The Oklahoman. ďItís nothing bad.Ē
| Ben Johnson
Michael Swisher6A-I - Union over Edmond Santa Fe
The Redskins were my preseason pick and about a month into the season it appeared to be a foolish one. Even now - as theyíve landed on the tougher half of the bracket - it would seem yours truly is just being stubborn. I think Owasso is the best team, but Union is a different squad than it was early in the season. The Redskins are going to upset Broken Arrow and Owasso on the way to a state title. If I would have written that last sentence four years ago, you all would have sent me in for a brain scan.
6A-II - Bixby over Stillwater
Whoís going to beat them?
5A - Carl Albert over Bishop McGuinness
Every single pundit in the state is going to write the same thing. Some people may have discounted the Titans after the shocking loss to Piedmont. If anything, it ignited them. They proved it last week by hammering McGuinness. The title is again theirs to lose. Itís all true.
4A - Bethany over Tuttle
Obligatory Sam Brandt reference, but itís warranted. Heís explosive on offense and dynamic on defense. The Bethany run game is exceptional and it sets up the adequate passing game. And if you need proof of how stingy the Broncho defense is, just go look at the Tuttle result. This is a complete team.
3A - Heritage Hall over Perkins-Tryon
Iím not so sure this is as much of a given as last year (or the Chargersí 2017 title in 4A or 2015 title in 3A). Heritage Hall has the versatile Phillip Smitherman leading the way, but a number of Chargers can help get the job done. They know how to win big games and rarely do you see them make mistakes that cost them games. You have to beat them. That said, Iím not convinced that Lincoln Christian isnít the best team, so watch out for that semifinal. And if you need a sleeper, look at the bottom of the bracket in Perkins-Tryon, although the Demons no doubt have the toughest road to the finals.
2A - Sperry over Metro Christian
This might be my toughest class to pick. I bounced between Sperry and Metro Christian at least a half-dozen times. Two dominant offenses AND defenses. Iím going to go with experience, which is what led me to Sperry. Donít sleep on Vian, my preseason pick, either.
A - Cashion over Rejoice Christian
The Wildcats would probably prefer I pick another squad. I believe I tabbed Cashion a year ago and the Wildcats were done before the quarterfinals. Cashion doesnít have a superstar, but it has a TON of stars. Itís got to be a nightmare to prepare for them because if you key on one, two or three players, then one, two or three others can hurt you. There are a plethora of potential speed bumps on both sides of the bracket, so you never know in Class A (who picked Tonkawa and CHA to reach last yearís title game?). I think Cashion and Rejoice Christian are the two best. Either could win it.
B - Regent Prep over Shattuck
They got a taste of the state title game last year and theyíre ready to take the next step. Regent has been the most dominant team in the class and itís not close. Of course Shattuck knows how to get it done. The Bullards have made the western Oklahoma program a dynasty. But not even that dynasty can overcome the talent gap between Regent and the rest of the class this season.
C - Pond Creek-Hunter over Waynoka
The Panthers are tired of being bridesmaids. Four times in the last decade theyíve been runners-up. This is the squad that gets it done. While PC-H piles on the points, itís the defense that sets the Panthers apart. The potential semifinal with Southwest Covenant is a big one and Waynoka is lurking on the bottom half of the bracket. The Railroaders gave PC-H one of its two close games of the year.
Ben JohnsonClass 6AI
Owasso over Jenks
Edmond Santa Fe is coming on strong late in the season, but the Rams have been the most talented club in 6AI all season long. Oh, and Owasso has one of the best coaches in the stateís history.
Bixby over Stillwater
This will be an epic rematch. The Pioneers are crazy loaded, but yet Bixby might be the best team in the entire state.
Carl Albert over Noble
The Titans have kicked it into high gear and another title is on the horizon.
Bethany over Bristow
Sam Brandt and Co. missed out on last yearís 4A title but not this year.
Heritage Hall over Plainview
Seriously considered going with Lincoln Christian as the 3A winner, but canít pick against Heritage Hall until the Chargers actually lose.
Sperry over Metro Christian
It took the Pirates what seemed like forever to claim their first title and now could make it two in a row.
Stroud over Cashion
I had Stroud from the beginning of the season, so Iím gonna ride with the Tigers. Few problems along the way could be Ringling and Rejoice Christian. But nonetheless, sticking with Stroud.
Regent Prep over Dewar
The Rams have inched closer to a title every year and now theyíll finally get it.
Coyle over Southwest Covenant
Bluejackets head back to the finals for the second time and finally pick up their first championship.
The Rams have been the best team all year and I donít see why they donít bring it home. I doubt itís a cake walk, but with athletes everywhere and Bill Blankenship in charge, Owasso brings home itsí second title.
Is there really another choice? One of the most dominant runs in recent memory, the Spartans havenít even really been tested this year. And I donít think thatís changing. The best team in school history and *ducks* maybe the state? Yeah itís a wrap.
5A: Carl Albert
The Titans had the long winning streak snapped earlier this year in a surprising loss to Piedmont. That did nothing but refocus Carl Albert. The cream of the crop again rises to the top to win itsí 4th straight.
The Tigers got back on top last year and have only lost to Bethany this season. The year long favorite Broncos have a brutal path to the title game. I think someone catches them and Tuttle goes back-to-back.
A team loaded with talent that is flying under the radar is my surprise pick here. The Indians have what it takes to get it done and are as complete of a team as any in the class. This bracket is full of good teams and it could get wild but I think the Indians win their first title.
2A: Metro Christian
Iím sure Iím following the beat of the drum of our fearless leader Ben Johnson, whoís been a loyal Patriots fan for years now. And rightfully so. The Pats have as an impressive of an offense as youíll see in many years in 2A. I donít know that anyone can slow them down. The gold ball comes back to the 918.
Iíve picked the Wildcats for seemingly seven years now. And one day itís gonna come true. So Iíll stick with it, as I think they are the most talented and are always so well coached. John Hardaway will be dancing in the streets.
How do you pick anyone else? At this point itís fair to assume that Shattuck wants Bama. But are they better than Bama?? Maybe they want LSU? Or the Patriots? Iím not picking against them ever so we are done here.
C: Pond Creek-Hunter
Iíll take Pond-Creek in an always fun class B. They have been impressive this year and always can put up a ton of points, which is a requirement in this class. The Panthers take the title in 2019.
| Michael Swisher
By Autumn Davenport
Former Marlow Outlaw
A little piece of Italy down in Southwestern Oklahoma. Marlow is the home Giuseppesís Italian Dining in the heart of its historic Main Street.
The restaurant is housed in an old bank building that was built in 1911. They have kept many of its original design elements to allow their guests a chance to go back in time while dining.
This restaurant has been one of the crown jewels of Marlow for decades, and draws in crowds from all over. Make sure to sign in the guest book, and also take a peek at how far some guest have traveled to enjoy the cuisine over the years.
Pictured: Original Marlow, OK Main Street circa 1911. The building on the right side with the shorter roof is still the home of the restaurant today.
Artichoke Spinach Dip Ė always a favorite of mine. Served with large pieces of flat bread for you to dip with. If you are in the mood for a warm app to start your evening, this will not let you down.
Salad and Bread - almost all entrees come with a house salad and bread for the table. The salad is a simple base of iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, black olives and parmesan cheese. But the house dressing takes it to another level. Olive Garden wishes their salad could beat this, but never will.
Pizzas Ė Keep in mind that their pizzas take 40 minutes to prepare to allow the cheese to melt perfectly. But does that sound like a bad thing when I told you how awesome the appetizers were? The wait is worth the hype. These brick oven styled pizzas will most definitely satisfy your hungry, and may even leave you a few leftovers for later due to their large size.
Fettuccine Half & Half Ė The perfect balance of pasta sauce in this dish. They take the traditional fettuccine alfredo and elevate it with the additional of a rich homemade marinara sauce. If the traditional plate is too rich for you, try this twist and you may just find your new favorite order! I have also ordered the tortellini with this sauce option and was more than pleased with its turn out!
Buoni Vicini Ė Translates to Good Neighbors Ė One of the most famous dishes and a house favorite. A simple meal of sautťed chicken breast with seasoned vegetables but in the style only Giuseppeís can prepare. Take our word for it, this guilt free option may lead you to think you cheated your diet due to how amazing it tastes.
Both the red and the white house wines are actually made by a local winery in the heart of Marlow. Cotton Blossom Winery, owned by locals Ryan and Megan Bell, is located on Broadway just down the road from Giuseppeís. Enjoy a carafe for the table, or a single glass for yourself and you wonít be disappointed. You may even buy a bottle from the restaurant to take home after you leave to remember the evening and all the joy it brought you.
Pictured: Current Owners Tandy Banks and Brandon Floyd (also the Chef Partner). They are the third set of owners of the restaurant in its tenure.
A locally-owned and operated restaurant is hard to come by these days with all the chain restaurants popping up overnight. This is a stop you have to make!
But make sure to plan ahead.
Giuseppeís is only open Thursday Ė Sunday from 11 am Ė 9 pm. Whether you go for game day or for a fun date night, you will enjoy every minute of this Oklahoma gem. (Click the link at the top of the story to find the complete menu.)
| Michael Swisher
In an effort to satisfy its membership and build up an atmosphere similar to basketball at ďThe Big House,Ē the OSSAA on Wednesday announced plans to consolidate all of its 11-man football state championships to one location this season.
The University of Central Oklahomaís Wantland Stadium in Edmond will be the host site of seven title tilts over two weekends.
The announcement was made by OSSAA Executive Director David Jackson during a press conference at the associationís headquarters in Oklahoma City.