By Mike Moguin
TULSA — Kelsey McClure of Muskogee and Brooke Palmer of Fort Gibson both enjoyed their experience in playing at the girls basketball portion of the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State Games at the Oral Roberts University Mabee Center on Wednesday night.
Although the Large East had lost 73-51 to the Large West, it was still fun for both.
McClure, one of the top scorers in the state last season and bound for Central Arkansas was originally an alternate and had the opportunity given to her when another player had to back out last month.
“The experience has been great,” McClure said. “Seeing everybody that I played high school ball with and learning what they have been up to was fun It was a great opportunity to come out and see all the people that I haven’t seen in awhile.”
She only scored two points with her basket coming in the first period.
Palmer also just got five points.
‘I really enjoyed it. It was an experience that a lot of people don’t get to have,” Palmer said.
Palmer, who played for two state championships and a runner-up during her high school career, saw her last action in the game. She said she has not regrets about it ending here.
“It’s been a good season and I’m glad I have the opportunity to be everything that I am,” Palmer said.
“I enjoyed the opportunity to hang out with my team the whole week and it was great to get to know them.”
Palmer’s coach, Jerry Walker, was named OCA Coach of the Year. Walker’s assistant, Chuck London, received a similar award as an association-wide assistant coach of the year earlier in the week.
Walker got the same honor by the Oklahoma Girls Basketball Coaches Association in the spring. when another of his assistants, Denise Gray, was junior high coach of the year.
“I’ve always believed one of the reasons for success in our program is we emphasize a team-first attitude, so it’s neat to share these awards because it is a staff effort too,” Walker said.
Boys basketball hits the hardwoods at the Mabee Center. The Small East includes three-time Phoenix MVP Jacob Richardson of Porter and Jordan Hill will take the court for the Large East. Game times are 7 for small schools and 8:30 for large schools.
— Phoenix Sports Editor Mike Kays contributed to this story.