The 43rd Tournament of Champions
By Ray Martin
The 43rd edition of the Tournament of Champions, Oklahoma’s premier boys high school basketball invitational tournament, tips off Thursday at the Tulsa Fairgrounds Pavilion.
Game 1 – Stringtown (class B) vs. Tulsa East Central (class 5A), 2 p.m.
Game 2 –Verdigris (class 3A) vs. McGuinness (class 4A), 3:30 p.m.
Game 3 – Pawnee (class 2A) vs. Jenks (class 6A), 7 p.m.
Game 4 – Sequoyah – Tahlequah (class 3A) vs. Bixby (class 5A), 8:30 p.m.
For the second consecutive year, the tournament is designed for
Verdigris’ Clarke and Pawnee’s Paige to face each other in the second round. Unfortunately for the T of C, and high school basketball fans who have been begging for that match-up since the two played together in seventh grade, Pawnee upset Victory Christian in the opening round. Midwest City edged
Verdigris by three to send the Cardinals to the losers bracket.
A FEW NOTES ON EACH TEAM:
Jenks: The Trojans are looking to become the first team to win three consecutive T of C titles. Jenks knocked off Midwest City last year, and outlasted Obi Muonelo and Santa Fe in double overtime in 2005. Though Jenks is without Nick Sidorakis, it can still get the job done.
Tulsa East Central: The Cardinals lost a thriller to Tahlequah Sequoyah last year. But East Central is much improved with nearly everyone back. Stringtown should be no problem in the opening round, but a rematch with Sequoyah likely awaits in the semi-finals.
Bixby: See my post on Bixby from Tuesday night. A 2-2 record, (1-2 in the Metro Lakes conference) and a home loss to Claremore make the Spartans the weakest and most undeserving team in the tournament. If they escape the Indians, I’ll be surprised.
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