MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

March 17, 2014

COLUMN: Plenty of hardwoods shine from area folks

Remember that Sequoyah four-peat dream that ended with an Angel Goodrich slip in the final seconds a few years back?

Harken ahead from there to 2012. Anadarko stopped Fort Gibson’s Lady Tigers in that Class 4A title game. Had that not happened and everything since held up including the Fort’s 50-47 win over Anadarko on Saturday, Jerry Walker’s team would have been the ones to break that 76-year-old all-class girls record set by Byng and the legendary coach Bertha Teague in 1936-38.

Had Anadarko not let a lead slip away against Mount St. Mary’s last year, Saturday would have marked the third straight season matching Fort Gibson and Anadarko in the title game.

Allie Glover’s 27-foot 3 sets the Lady Tigers on a course for history. With all but Savannah Gray back next year, a third title which would match the all-time, all-class record for girls is assuredly in the realm of possibility.

Girls basketball’s going to be fun next year folks. Bank on it. The Lady Tigers, Muskogee, Hilldale, Vian, Sequoyah and Webbers Falls are all loaded with returning firepower. Muskogee and Fort Gibson are in the Tournament of Champions next December. They’re used to seeing each other in holiday time scrimmages. Let’s hope the TOC bracket matches them along the way.

Speaking of a Walker, David Walker, Jerry’s oldest son and an assistant at Harding on the women’s team, made the NCAA tournament. They were No. 2 in the country and the  second seed in the NCAA Central Region but were stunned by Concordia-St. Paul, 68-57 in the first round. Harding ended the year at a school record 29-3. It was the Bison’s first NCAA postseason appearance.

More coaching news:

• Hats off to Bobby Allison, the three-year Muskogee assistant under Terry Scott led his Tulsa Memorial team to the 5A championship Saturday, defeating Bishop McGuinness. Allison was in his first season there after two seasons at Morris;

• Gore native Shelley Jarrard coached top seeded and No. 3 ranked  Westminister won the Frontier Conference title in NAIA. She was this season’s conference Coach of the Year.

Westminster College is top seed of the third quadrant of the 2013-14 NAIA Division I Women's Basketball National Championship in the Frankfort Convention Center in Frankfort, Ky. The 32-team tournament is divided into four quadrants with each quadrant seeded from 1 to 8. The Griffins face No. 8 William Woods (Mo.) on Thursday,

Jarrard was a starter for Vanderbilt’s 1993 Final Four team after being named 1989 Gatorade Player of the Year for Oklahoma as a senior at Webbers Falls High School.

And then some players from the area:

• Former Muskogee Rougher Devante Wilson won’t be dancing March Madness style. San Jose State was 7-24 this season but Wilson, a junior transfer from Houston-based Lee College, was the third-leading scorer for the Spartans at 8.4 points per game. Wilson’s second of four sisters, Alexus, had an strong freshman season at ORU at 7.7 points per game in 17 minutes per contest with a season-high 20 against Central Arkansas and her former MHS teammate Kelsey McClure, who averaged 3.2 points in 11 minutes per game.

• Oren Faulk, another Roughers ex, had 17 starts for Hartford in his final season, averaging 4 points per contest. Like Wilson, a teammate of his on the 2009 state semifinalist, Faulk and the Hawks also will fall short of the NCAA tournament, going 17-16.

And a final note regarding the squad four years behind Faulk and three behind Wilson: Nice finish. You might’ve been the third-best team in the 6A boys bracket in the end, behind Putnam City West and champion Union.

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