A Speed Read to keep you busy while waiting for Santa. Happy holidays, everyone:
Boys: The only West Metro team in action right now, the Pirates are getting some great competition at the Cherry Creek Holiday Classic in the Denver area. After defeating Fairview Boulder (No. 9 in the state’s largest class) on Monday, PC knocked off Arapahoe (No. 2 in the largest class) on Tuesday.
They’re scheduled to play twice today if weather permits. More concerning than basketball right now is the drive home. They took Interstate 70 going up, but will come home on the southern route through New Mexico and Amarillo, Texas, because portions of I-70 have already been closed because of weather.
Girls: With the win over Edmond North behind them, it’s time to use the break to refocus on their goals, and make sure that the big upset doesn’t become the biggest moment of their season. The talent is there. Time to build on what they’ve done so far. The Lady Pirates surged to No. 9 in this week’s coaches’ poll, so people are recognizing their talent.
Putnam City West
Boys: After falling short in the Bartlesville Tournament earlier in the month, you can bet the Patriots are motivated to win the Ardmore Tournament next week. The key for PC West will be the development of its perimeter defense. Coach Tim Stogsdill is looking for contributions from young players at guard to boost the defense there.
Girls: Consistency has been absent for the Lady Patriots. Danielle Bounds is unquestionably the team’s best player, but the team has had to rely on others in several situations. They’ll be at the Ardmore Tournament next week. And the toughest part of the PC West schedule still lies ahead, with two games each against Edmond Santa Fe, Edmond North and PC North — all top-10 teams — remaining.
Boys: Some tough competition lies ahead at the Ardmore Tournament, with the potential of bumping into a couple other West Metro foes, Putnam City North and West. Opposing coaches have a lot of respect for Ralph Nigro, and the way his teams run their offensive and defensive schemes in detail. That will pay dividends for a team that lacks height. And the Millers’ shooters will carry them to a win or three against someone they’re not supposed to beat.
Girls: Coach Kelly Clarke just wants some team chemistry for Christmas. With key players out at various times, players haven’t been able to get familiar with the roles Clarke hopes to have them playing down the stretch.
The Millerettes have more untapped potential than a lot of 6A teams, simply because they haven’t been able to play the way they want yet. Hannah Henry, a 6-foot-2 senior forward hasn’t played yet this year and should be back when the Millerettes open play at the Ardmore Tournament next week. With a solid guard trio, some good size inside and a schedule that will have them battle-tested by March, they could be a surprise team in the postseason.
Putnam City North
Boys: The Panthers have to be getting sick of practice by now. They’ve only played three games so far, a total that will double next week at the Ardmore Tournament. They’ve got several capable scorers, but a lot of tests coming up, not only in Ardmore, but with the PC Invitational in early January and the Metro Athletic Conference schedule, which will include two games each against rivals PC and PC West. Plenty of opportunities to prove that the Panthers are a top 10 team.
Girls: With the Durant Tournament, the Lady Panthers have more court time than the boys, and they’ve been pushed a little harder, thanks to games against a pair of top-five teams Edmond North and Santa Fe. PC North is a .500 team right now, but they’re better than the record would suggest. They’ll boost their win totals against some of the lower portion of the MAC in the second half of January.
Boys: The win over Westmoore to close out the pre-holiday portion of the schedule was huge. Mustang needed some positive vibes around the gym, with lots of practice time and not a lot of games lying ahead. And when they do get back on the floor, the Broncos’ schedule isn’t too friendly. Putnam City and PC West to open the new year, then the rivalry game with Yukon before a meeting with PC North.
Girls: Robert Foreman is still trying to get everything together with his new program. Three coaches in three years is a tough transition. Mustang has some good pieces to work with. Ashley Callahan had 14 points in the Lady Broncos’ five-point loss to Westmoore last week. They break until a Jan. 5 meeting with surging Putnam City, then they play in the Westmoore Lady Jag Classic Jan. 7-9. It’ll take some time to build depth, but Foreman is a good veteran coach, so Mustang seems to be heading in the right direction.
– Scott Wright, email@example.com