Clarke, Verdigris upset by...who?
By Ray Martin
I assumed the Tournament of Champions is where Verdigris would be dealt its first, and perhaps only loss of the season.
I was wrong.
The Cardinals fell 71-66 to Class A Clayton Friday night in the Eastern State College tournament, despite a season high 45 points from Rotnei Clarke.
Clayton is ranked 13 in class A in our preseason rankings, and 20 on Coachesaid.com. They were 13-12 last season.
Verdigris was without big man Adam Hollon (6-7). Hollon has been injured since the preseason. He played Thursday in the Cardinals 102-19 win, but had only four points.
Even with Hollon out, its a huge upset for Clayton. The biggest of the year so far in high school hoops.
It is obvious that Clarke can’t do it alone. And if he doesn’t find some help, the Cardinals may be in trouble when March rolls around. I don’t think you’ll find Sequoyah or John Marshall losing to teams like Clayton, regardless of whether they have a big man or not.
Rumor has it, Verdigris could face McGuinness in the opening round of the Tournament of Champions, which tips off Dec. 27 in Tulsa.
I hope, for Verdigris’ sake, that all of its kinks are worked out by then.
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