CENTENNIAL PRINCIPAL ON THE OTHER SIDE
Centennial principal Charmaine Johnson was all burgundy and gold Friday night for the Bison boys basketball team's Class 3A semifinal game against Millwood.
But it might have felt a little backward.
Johnson was a basketball player at Millwood before her college career at Oklahoma State.
“Every year, we end up playing Millwood,” Johnson said. “So I have my red, white and blue on the inside, but I have all my burgundy and gold on the outside.”
NORTHEAST GOES GREEN
With neon green shoes and warm-up shirts, it's hard not to notice the Northeast girls basketball team.
But there is a reason for that.
Northeast coach Londaryl Perry said the original intent was to order pink shoes for cancer awareness, but Nike no longer made the shoes they intended to order.
Instead, they chose neon green in hopes of standing out.
“The girls decided let's go with green, it'll make us stand out,” Perry said. “The shirts came about for the state tournament.
“I know it's not pink … but ideas started popping in their heads. So, we rolled with the punches.”
Northeast players Danielle Gaddis and Maximina Gonzalez each lost their mom to cancer, according to Perry.
“That really makes some special feelings for that,” Perry said.
SIMON RETURNS TO FINALS
Okemah coach Kale Simon is making a return to the state finals after the Panthers defeated Sequoyah-Tahlequah 55-35 in the Class 3A boys semifinals. But this time he's done it with a different team.
Simon came to Okemah in 2011 just one season removed from guiding Roff to a Class B state title in 2010. He believes his past experiences have helped this team, but gives most of the credit to his players.
“As far as the preparation and the planning it has helped,” Simon said. “But every year you get new kids. The way they've performed has been spectacular. It's simply about them being really, really good today.”
Simon has compiled a career record of 137-35, going 48-8 in his two seasons with Okemah. The Panthers' only previous finals appearance was in 2009, when they lost to Cascia Hall.