Tournament of Champions notebook: Blockbuster rematch
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Friday, December 28, 2012
12/28/12 at 6:21 AM
Union and Booker T. Washington face off in Friday's 7 p.m. semifinals, but it will be hard to match the last meeting between the teams.
Union won 74-70 in triple overtime in last season's area tournament en route to an undefeated record and the Class 6A state title.
"That was the funnest game of my life. It was high intensity and high stakes all the way," said Washington's Juwan Parker, who had 23 points and four rebounds in Thursday's first-round win over Dale.
Long ride: One might call the Erick girls "Queens of the Road" for traveling the greatest distance to play in this year's tournament.
The reference is to the Beckham County town's best-known former resident - late country and western star Roger Miller, who wrote and performed the iconic "King of the Road."
Erick (population: 1,052) is 251 miles from Tulsa, the last outpost along I-40 before entering the Texas Panhandle and slightly more than halfway from Oklahoma City to Amarillo.
Arnett's boys were a close second in miles traveled. The Ellis County seat, Arnett (population: 524) is about 35 miles southwest of Woodward and 248 miles from Tulsa.
Top of the hill: Jenks moved into first place in all-time tournament girls wins with Thursday's 54-40 triumph over Verdigris. The Trojans have 14.
East Central moved into a second-place tie with Claremore with its 13th all-time win, a 79-44 triumph over Dewar. The Cards are two-time defending tourney champs.
Getting their attention: Union boys coach Rudy Garcia wasn't happy with his team's effort in its first-round win over Weleetka.
The Redskins trailed 17-15 late in the first quarter when Garcia called timeout and let it be known loud and clear to anyone who might be listening that he thought the Class 4A No. 1 Outlaws were outplaying his team.
"There's no doubt about that, and he let us know about it," junior guard Shawn Olden said.
Olden came off the bench to score all nine of his points in an 18-4 run that put the Redskins in control of the game. He hit two 3-pointers and all three free throws after being fouled behind the arc.
Special alumni: The Tournament of Champions will induct three men and one woman into the tourney's Hall of Fame on Saturday night.
Former Claremore girls standout Jenny Hardin will be joined by former Booker T. Washington player Creason Hay, former Central and Muskogee coach Terry Scott, and current Jenks head coach Clay Martin.
Martin was part of Nathan Hale's third-place TofC finish in 1992 and has guided the Jenks boys to three TofC titles (2005, '06, '08). Hay was part of two TofC championship teams and was MVP of the 1982 tournament.
Scott, who retired in 2011, coached Central for 22 years and Muskogee for three. He had four teams in the TofC and guided his Central Braves to the title in 1997.
Hardin will be inducted during halftime of the girls' championship game. The men will be inducted during the boys' final.
World Correspondent John D. Ferguson contributed to this report