Class A state basketball notebook: Sterling coach Rick Wilson back at state
Rick Wilson is in the state tournament for the 22nd time. He has now guided nine different teams to the tournament.
Sterling girls coach Rick Wilson is back in the state tournament once again.
Wilson, who has won seven state titles and has four runners-up, is in the state tournament for the 22nd time.
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“It's really nice to be back,” Wilson said. “I've been away for one year and it seems like it's been a decade.”
The Lady Tigers are the ninth team Wilson has guided to the tournament, joining Apache, Carl Albert, Elgin, Elk City, Hydro-Eakly, Sand Springs, Seiling and Weatherford.
“You have to have really good kids and I've been lucky to land jobs like that,” Wilson said.
Wilson got started at Sterling late in the summer and didn't get to work with his team before fall sports started.
“I'd never seen them touch a basketball, shoot a basketball or pass a basketball until our first day of practice,” Wilson said. “So it took us awhile to get acquainted with everything but they've gotten better and better.”
Wilson used a six-player starting rotation that features a junior and three sophomores to go along with a pair of seniors.
Seven different players have led Sterling in scoring this season.
WEATHER HOLDING UP PRACTICES AT CHEYENNE
When Cheyenne/Reydon coach Brad Thrash woke up Monday morning he knew his plan for early practice was already ruined.
By 6 a.m. Monday, there was already too much snow on the ground to get the boys and girls players — Thrash coaches both teams — to the gym for practice. More than 10 inches fell on the town, leaving Tuesday and Wednesday practices in jeopardy as well.
So it's possible that neither team will get to practice between the area playoffs over the weekend and Thursday's first round of the Class A state tournaments.
“If not, we're just going to show up down there and play and not have any practice,” Thrash said. “It's not a good thing.
“I would say in our class it's the only one it affects. Everyone else is farther east and south, so they're not getting it as heavy as we are.”
Sophomore Kate Sander had a triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 11 blocks in the area championship win over Okarche, though Cheyenne's offense is very balanced, with all five starters averaging between 6-10 points per game.
The boys team relies heavily on junior forward Braygan Lippencott, who is averaging 21.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
UNSELFISHNESS HAS OKARCHE BACK
Okarche girls coach Cherie Myers was glad her team didn't have to sit around for an extra 24 hours waiting to play its area consolation finals after a Saturday night loss to Cheyenne at the buzzer.
“Most definitely,” Myers said. “We were worried a bit about conditioning and that we were down after losing that one but they wanted to get right back out there.”
The Lady Warriors have been a fixture in the state tournament since Myers has been there but this team is quite a bit different, with three juniors and two sophomores making up the starting lineup.
As good as those young players have played, though, a big part of Okarche's success has been the way the role players on the bench have done what they needed to go to help the team.
“It's been the unselfish play of everybody as much as anything,” Myers said of why her young team has been so successful. “I don't sub a lot and that can cause a lot of problems but it hasn't. They've come out and worked hard and really developed that team chemistry and atmosphere that's allowed this team to be so successful.”
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