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State basketball tournament notebook: Okarche's Rae Grellner stars twice Saturday

Rae Grellner played the national anthem on the violin, then went out and helped Okarche win the state championship with a 59-47 victory over Cheyenne/Reydon.
by Ed Godfrey and Ryan Aber and Scott Wright and Jacob Unruh Published: March 2, 2013

For the second consecutive season, Okarche played in the Class A state championship game.

And for the second time, Okarche's Rae Grellner brought the house down before the game even started.

Grellner played the national anthem on the violin, then went out and helped Okarche win the state championship with a 59-47 victory over Cheyenne/Reydon.

“It's still nerve-wracking but it's nothing like the nerves of playing in the game,” Grellner said. “I've done that a lot. I've only played in two state championship games.”

Grellner, a junior, has been playing the violin for 10 years.

“I was thinking about the game the whole time I was playing,” Grellner said. “I spent all day thinking about the game. I hated waiting. I just wanted to play.”

Grellner also had possibly the oldest fan in State Fair Arena on her side.

Her great-grandfather, 96-year-old Francis Kretchmar, was in attendance for Okarche's three state tournament wins.

Kretchmar lives in St. Katharine Drexel Retirement Center in El Reno.


With 9.2 seconds left, Glencoe players headed to the bench for a timeout before Ty Lazenby's upcoming free throw to clinch the Class A boys state championship.

Coach John Lazenby instructed his team on what to do after Ty made the free throw, and then — just in case — he prepared his team for how to react if his son's shot didn't go in.

Then Ty chimed in.

“He goes, ‘Guys, I'm not missing it, and I want a big dogpile out there when the horn goes off,'” John Lazenby said. “You've got to appreciate confidence in kids like that — because he missed two just a few minutes earlier.”

Glencoe defeated Weleetka 54-50 to win the school's second state title, the first coming in 2006. And it was John Lazenby's first in five state tournament appearances during his 25-year coaching career.


Pond Creek-Hunter was named the Class A boys basketball academic state champion for the second straight season at halftime of the Class B girls championship game. The Panthers had a cumulative GPA of 3.75.

Okarche was also named the Class A girls champion with a GPA of 3.90.

In Class B, Burlington won the boys title with a GPA of 3.84, and McCurtain won the girls title with a GPA of 4.0.



If Lomega's girls would have won the Class B championship Saturday, it would have been a record 12th state championship for the Raiders.

Lomega won its 11th title last season, tying Byng for first place.

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by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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by Scott Wright
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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by Jacob Unruh
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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