State basketball tournament notebook: Okarche's Rae Grellner stars twice Saturday

Rae Grellner played the national anthem on the violin, then went out and helped Okarche win the state championship with a 59-47 victory over Cheyenne/Reydon.
by Ed Godfrey and Ryan Aber and Scott Wright and Jacob Unruh Published: March 2, 2013
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“It's not that bad,” Lomega coach Kyle Lewallen said. “We'll be back. We've got four coming back off that team right there. We lose a great one with Ashley (LaGasse), but with the other four we'll be back.”

Lomega lost to Erick 56-53 in double overtime.

The Raiders have won 10 titles as Lomega and one as Omega (1955).

 

JANZ TURNS ERICK AROUND

When Erick coach Justin Janz took over the Erick program eight years ago, it was not in a good place.

But slowly he helped turn it around, and that culminated with the school's second state championship Saturday.

“Bad,” Janz said about the state of the program when he arrived. “I hate to be that way to the girls, but I think my first year we were 6-19 and second year we were 5-19. The girls that I had right then, they worked hard, they tried everything and they believed in me.

“Then we started getting a little better after that, a little better after that, a little better after that and two years ago we made the state tournament. We just got a bad break last year and didn't get here; we felt like we belonged.”

Erick returns four starters next season, but loses top scorer Maranda Janz, who is Justin Janz's daughter.

“I think we built tradition,” she said.

OVERTIME SPECIAL

Three games went into overtime during the three-day span of the Class B girls state tournament, and all of them involved Lomega and Erick.

On Thursday, Lomega beat Leedey 63-62 in double overtime.

Erick, though, had a knack for winning in the dramatic fashion, beating Shattuck on Friday 51-44 in overtime and then beating Lomega 56-53 in double overtime Saturday.

“It was fun,” Erick's Makenzie Janz said. “We just had to come play ball. Whatever we had to go through, we just came and played ball. We knew we would probably be the underdogs this weekend, but we just played and had a good time.”

 

EARLY FOUL TROUBLE HINDERS ASKA

After Saturday night’s loss in the Class B state title game, Tony Aska Jr. held the silver runner-up trophy and posed for photos with family members. But it was hard to force a smile for the photos after Aska and Coyle lost to Arnett, 70-61.

“It’s very disappointing, not only because it’s my senior year but we really had a good chance in this game,” Aska said.

Arnett erased a 21-point Coyle lead in the game. The 6-6 Aska, nephew of former National Football League player and University of Central Oklahoma great, Joe Aska, was whistled for two quick fouls in the first quarter.

After that, Aska admitted that he became tentative.

“It did take away some of my aggressiveness,” he said. “I was really worried about getting in foul trouble and sitting out the rest of my last game.”

by Ed Godfrey
Reporter Sr.
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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by Scott Wright
Reporter
A lifelong resident of the Oklahoma City metro area, Scott Wright has been on The Oklahoman staff since 2005, covering a little bit of everything on the state's sports scene. He has been a beat writer for football and basketball at Oklahoma and...
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by Jacob Unruh
Reporter
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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