EL RENO — In recent years, the El Reno boys basketball team always seems to find a way to get into the state tournament, usually with a strong late-season run.
But this year's team started its charge a little earlier, moving into the Class 5A top 10 by mid-season.
With two losses in three games to highly ranked opponents at the end of January, the Indians' season needed a jolt. And it came with a pair of crucial Suburban Conference victories last week.
Mike Jones averaged 14.5 points to lead the team in those two victories, with 17 in a one-point win over No. 7 Deer Creek. He added 12in a double-digit defeat of a hot Shawnee squad on Saturday to earn The Oklahoman's Boys Basketball Player of the Week honor.
With state tournament appearances in four straight seasons before coming up short last year, the Indians are looking for a return trip. And they've got a chance to build some momentum with three games against unranked opponents in the next 10 days.