MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

February 21, 2013

Weather permitting, regionals begin today

Area basketball coaches might have shot out the door to do something other than grab the morning paper.

Weather conditions this morning along with possible school closings that have or will occur if road conditions are bad enough may also impact tonight’s first round of regional play statewide.

Muskogee and Fort Gibson are the only area schools set to host and as of the early press deadline on Wednesday, all games were still on.

The Lady Roughers will take an 18-5 record into an 8 p.m. tipoff against Moore, a team they beat 71-48 in tournament play at Moore back in January. Broken Arrow and Sapulpa are also in the tournament.

The quirky thing is a lot will depend on Moore’s ability to get here might ultimately determine this, even if the area roads are clear.

“I’ve talked to other coaches we’re all planning on being here,” Muskogee coach Doyle Rowland said. “Hopefully we’ll miss the weather and it won’t even be a consideration.

Muskogee comes in having lost three of its last four and Rowland hopes his team will have the right mental focus.

“We want to get off to a good start, have some defensive rhythm and take care of our business,” he said. “To look ahead or past them is kind of crazy considering its an elimination game.”

The Muskogee boys aren’t scheduled to play until Friday at Stillwater against Union, when conditions are expected to improve.

Fort Gibson’s regional doesn’t have a west team dangling. The Tigers take on Stilwell and Jay takes on Poteau in boys play while Fort Gibson-Poteau and Jay-Stilwell are the girls matchups. Both Hilldale teams play at Wagoner.

Gary Hendrix, the FGHS boys coach, said it’ll be a decision by him in communication with the OSSAA and the other regional teams as to what will happen should conditions require it.

“Ultimately they want us to play if at all possible but they’d have to defer to the local schools and determine whether they can make it,” he said.

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