by Ben Johnson (@BenJohnsonTUL)
11/15/2019 12:27:52 AM
posted in: Articles | 2,514 views
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
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.
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