This could be Bishop McGuinness’ last shot at a Class 5A state championship, at least in the near future.
Based on the private-school rules adopted by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association membership in 2011, McGuinness has met the criteria to be moved up in classification for basketball next year.
The rule calls for a private-school team that finishes in the final eight at state in three of five seasons to be moved up one classification.
This is the team’s third season in Class 5A, based on enrollment, and the boys team has reached state each of those three seasons. By rule, both the boys and girls teams will likely be required to play in Class 6A for the 2014-15 season.
But there’s a catch. McGuinness currently ranks as the smallest 5A school, No. 64 in the state, in average daily attendance at 677.5. Should the school’s attendance numbers for the current school year drop out of the top 64, it would qualify as a Class 4A school. Should that happen, the basketball teams would still have to move up one classification, but that move would put them back in 5A.
For now, Irish coach Tondrell Durham is focusing on the weekend ahead for his top-ranked team.
“This bracket is really competitive,” Durham said. “Any of the eight teams in this tournament could win it.