Boys hoops: Del City takes down Edmond Memorial, and other thoughts
Basketball season has started in a big way around the metro area and I got the chance to take in a No. 1 vs. No. 1 showdown at Del City, with Class 5A’s top team hosting 6A’s best, Edmond Memorial.
Here’s my roundup of some of Tuesday night’s top action, which will appear in Wednesday’s paper — along with some added analysis:
Del City takes down Edmond Memorial
The score hung on every wall of the Del City boys basketball locker room nearly all of last season — 69-29.
That’s how bad Edmond Memorial beat the Eagles on Dec. 14 of last year, and the score was posted as a reminder of how much better Del City needed to get.
Now, it can be viewed as a reference of how far the Eagles have come. Ranked No. 1 in Class 5A, Del City defeated Class 6A No. 1 Edmond Memorial 67-62 Tuesday night at John Smith Fieldhouse.
“We’ve matured,” senior guard A.J. Holland said. “We’re ready to play. We’re ready to go get a ring.”
Holland and Steffon Herd had 15 points apiece to lead the Eagles (6-0) to an important early season victory. Keith Glover scored 12 and Brett Cannon added 10 for Del City.
“Confidence-wise this is huge,” coach Tim Stogsdill said. “The kids believed they could do it, but until they saw that score — they see that the sky’s the limit as long as we come back from this, and stay focused and keep working.”
Memorial’s Jordan Woodard led all scorers with 21 points and James Woodard added 18 for the Bulldogs (6-1), who were coming off a championship at the Edmond Open on Saturday.
Scott’s thoughts: These two teams are No. 1 in their classes for a reason, and they’re going to be around until the end. Guard play is HUUUUGE in March, and they both have plenty. Very few times during the season will either of these teams face an opponent that has guards who are as good as theirs, but both faced that situation Tuesday night.
Del City won Tuesday’s battle, and if you like good guard play, I suggest taking in the rematch at Edmond Memorial Feb. 3.
With two-time defending 5A champion Tulsa Washington now in 6A, Del City is looking like the early favorite for the gold ball. They’re playing with a different level of confidence than they had last year — they expect to win games the way they did Tuesday night. That will pay off down the line.
Edmond Memorial was probably dealing with something of a hangover from a hard-fought championship at the Edmond Open over the weekend, and I don’t think this loss is a sign the Bulldogs are going to underachieve this season. They’re as good as advertised. But on this night, Del City was better.
Santa Fe holds off winless Choctaw
Edmond Santa Fe’s coach Shawn Schenk wasn’t pleased with his team’s effort Tuesday, but he’ll take the win.
The No. 3 Wolves beat winless Choctaw 55-42, but it took a big fourth-quarter effort to move past the pesky Yellowjackets, who led at halftime and only trailed by three after the third quarter.
“It was a good win,” Schenk said. “But not a great effort on our part.
“I hope we learn from this, because we aren’t good enough to play half way.”
Choctaw, meanwhile, still seeks its first win. Senior forward Carson Clay rolled his ankle in the fourth quarter. It was a big loss for Choctaw, which was trying to hold off the Wolves’ tough interior attack.
Santa Fe junior forward Shaquille Morris finished with 13 points.
Coach Doug Armstrong said that wasn’t why his team lost.
“We were playing well, but we just couldn’t come up with some loose balls late in the game,” Armstrong said. “We’re still young and inexperienced, but that isn’t an excuse anymore.”
Scott’s thoughts: Thanks to Jason Kersey for the coverage of this one. As Doug Armstrong said, the ‘Jackets are young, but they’ve got some talent. It might not click this year, but they will continue to improve.
As for Santa Fe, you get the feeling that ugly wins like this are going to be their specialty. They’ve had a few this year so far, and their team makeup lends to that. Good size all over the floor and a lot of good defenders. They will miss Josh Richardson’s pure scoring ability at all levels.
Shaq Morris is a blossoming star inside with solid post moves and good rebounding ability as a 6-foot-7 junior who is already drawing major college attention. And the Wolves have guards with a variety of skills. So they might not be blowing people out every night, but they’re always going to be in games, and they have the crunch-time experience to come out on top a lot.
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