Barry Lewis: Union, BTW could meet again at Tournament of Champions
BY BARRY LEWIS World Sports Writer
Thursday, December 20, 2012
12/20/12 at 6:25 AM
Go to Barry Lewis' BlogOriginal Print Headline: Union, BTW could meet again in Tournament of Champions
UNION defeated Booker T. Washington in two of last season's most memorable boys basketball games.
They have a chance to face each other again in the 48th annual Tournament of Champions semifinals.
Pairings and game times were announced during a luncheon at the Marriott Southern Hills on Wednesday. The high school basketball showcase is scheduled Dec. 27-29 at Oral Roberts University's Mabee Center.
Defending Class 6A and T of C champion Union will open the boys quarterfinals against Class A Weleetka at 10:30 a.m. Thursday. Other boys matchups are 6A Booker T. Washington against 2A Dale at 1:30 p.m., 5A Edison against Class B Arnett at 5:30 p.m. and 3A Verdigris meets 4A Roland at 8:30 p.m.
Union ended Booker T. Washington's 35-game winning streak 57-40 in last year's T of C title game. Booker T. Washington, which won 5A state titles in 2010 and 2011, also was the defending T of C champion.
They faced each other again in the 6A area title game that was a triple-overtime thriller won by Union, 74-70.
Union coach Rudy Garcia credits the T of C experience for helping his team produce a perfect season.
"It was huge," Garcia said on Wednesday. "It gives your kids a chance to play in the Mabee Center, where you will be playing again if you're fortunate enough to get to the state tournament. It helps you get familiar with the surroundings and it helps prepare you by playing against tough competition. It gets you in that playoff mode by playing three quality teams in a row.
"We always look forward to playing Booker T. and hopefully we can do so again if we can get past Weleetka and they win their game."
Weleetka coach Brett Thomas is looking forward to the challenge of facing Union.
"We're excited to be playing a team of that caliber," Thomas said. "We're 7-0 and playing well, but we can get better and that's what we're trying to do in this tournament."
In the girls bracket, two-time defending T of C champion East Central faces Dewar at noon.
"We know playing Dewar is not going to be an easy task," East Central coach Samy Mack said. "We know a couple of their girls from playing in our summer league. But this is why you play in this tournament, so you can play the best teams."
The girls quarterfinals open with 6A Jenks against Verdigris at 9 a.m. In the evening session, 4A Cushing faces Class B Erick at 4 p.m. and 4A Anadarko plays 2A Colbert at 7 p.m.
Games start at 9 a.m. each day of the tournament, with the final game starting at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 for each session that includes four games.
Basketball notes: Memorial's R.J. Diggs had 29 points and 12 assists in a 64-41 victory over East Central on Tuesday ... Allonzo Trier had 17 points to help NOAH edge Siloam Springs 66-65 on Tuesday at Siloam Springs, Ark.
Jenkins Award winners named: Jenks' Trey Michalczewski was among the Ferguson Jenkins Award winners named on Wednesday. The announcement was made by organizers of the Warren Spahn Award Gala that is scheduled Jan. 17 at the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. The awards are presented annually to the state's top high school baseball and softball players.
Besides Michalczewski, other baseball winners are Owasso's Andrew Rosa, Dale's Evan Anderson, who will be playing in the Tournament of Champions, Yukon's Jon Denney and Christian Heritage's Bryant Hodge. The baseball coach honoree is Clinton's Kelly Gaunt.
Softball winners are Owasso's Whitney Whitehorn, Grove's Taylor Dodson, Yukon's Madi Ellis, Little Axe's Andee Frazier and Norman's Summer Leitka. The softball coach honoree is Davenport's Brandy Chavez.
Union's J.C. Hartzler shoots in front of Booker T. Washington's Juwan Parker during last season's Tournament of Champions title game. JOEY JOHNSON/For the Tulsa World