It's Playoff Time!
by Michael Swisher (@michaelswisher)
2/12/2018 3:48:36 PM
posted in: Swisher's Suite | 2,919 views

If you want a good primer for playoff basketball, get your butts to Enid this weekend.

The Central National Bank Center will be the host of the Downtown Enid Basketball Festival this Friday and Saturday.

Two days.

Twelve schools.

Twenty-four teams.

Twelve games.

One venue.

There will be four games Friday evening and then another eight on Saturday.

Among the teams you’ll see on the girls’ side are perennial Class B contender Lomega, Class 2A contenders Cashion (#2) and Hooker (#10) and 3A sleeper Newkirk (#12).

On the boys’ side are three teams in the top-eight of their respective classes: In 2A, it’s Hooker (#3) and Preston (#7) and in 3A, it’s unbeaten Hennessey (#4).

The two marquee matchups will happen back-to-back on Saturday.

The Hennessey and Hooker boys play at 2:30 p.m. They’ll be followed by the Lomega and Newkirk girls at 3:50 p.m.

If you can’t get to Enid, you need to do a couple of things right now:

1. Make sure you’ve got the Skordle app downloaded on your phone or other handheld device;

2. Go “like” the Skordle Facebook page; and,

3. Go “follow” Skordle on Twitter.

Throughout the weekend, we’ll be going live on any number of our social media platforms as we’ll have results, analysis and player and coach interviews from all the contests.

If you’ve ever wanted to watch an overweight, graying has-been interview an out-of-breath basketball player fresh off a big win, this is your chance.

Join us. You won’t regret it.

• • •

Man, Clyde Barkley.

If you haven’t heard, Barkley coached his 1,000th game on Tuesday night.

That’s amazing.

More amazing?

Every single one of them has been at Inola.

The Longhorns lost a heartbreaker to Jay on their home court, but in no way does that take away what the legendary coach has done at his alma mater.

He’s currently in the midst of his 39th season as a head coach at the only place he’s ever been employed. And prior to being the head coach, Barkley served as an assistant for two years.

That’s 41 years (and counting) in one place. 

That’s almost unheard of these days (Joe Gilbert right now: “Hold my milk.”).

Barkley is a coaching legend, especially in northeastern Oklahoma.

He’s won more than 650 games, led the Longhorns to the 1998 state championship and is in the halls of fame of the OBCA, OCA and Northeastern State Athletics.

He’s a true legend.

Here’s to 39 more years (Joe Gilbert will still be coaching then).

• • • 

The playoffs are here. Well, not here yet. But basically, they’re here.

Class A and B start next weekend. Then its 2A-4A.

Before you know it, we’re in the first two weekends of March and then it’s all over.

Enjoy the ride.

We’ll be there with you, so stay tuned on all the previously-mentioned social media platforms on how you can stay connected throughout the playoffs and, especially, at the state tournament.

Here's a look at what we did last year (just scroll through the football stuff until you see a gray-headed old man talking at State Fair Arena).

• • •

Nice to see I made a difference.

I shamed you. You know I did.

OK, I didn’t make a difference with my Facebook Live video last week, but it’s still worth mentioning.

I noticed Heritage Hall jumped three spots to No. 4 in the latest (and most important) Class 4A boys rankings this week. 

I had mentioned that as many as 12 coaches had previously left the Chargers unranked. Foolishness.

Obviously some coaches - at the very least - ranked Heritage Hall higher this week. 

I know my opinion had absolutely nothing to do with it, but it was good to see the Chargers get their due.

The most important thing was they stayed in the top-eight. That kept a trickle-down effect from taking place in which a number of other teams would have been hurt by Heritage Hall being ninth or 10th. 

That really messes with some regional and area brackets.

But it was all avoided. 

Thanks, coaches. This time, anyway.

• • •

The OSSAA releases playoff assignments for 2A-4A on Friday (if they can get everything squared away, they may release them on Thursday like they did two weeks ago for A and B). 

The OSSAA’s David Glover makes all of the assignments, so if you’re not happy with where you team is being sent this year, his cell number is (405) 53…….just kidding, of course.

Happy playoffs, everyone. See you along the way.

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