Memorial back to the top
BY BARRY LEWIS World Sports Writer
Monday, January 14, 2013
1/14/13 at 5:25 AM
After going 11-14 last season, Memorial has returned to its usual status as a state basketball title contender.
The Chargers, whose last state title was in 2008 and were most recently state runner-up in 2010, are 10-2 and No. 1 in the Class 5A rankings.
"We'll take it. It's a lot better position than we were in last year at this time," Memorial coach Eric Savage said. "We played a lot of young guys last year, building towards this year. That maturity and experience is paying off."
R.J. Diggs is Memorial's leading scorer at 15.5 points per game. Diggs' top scoring games were 33 against McLain and 29 against East Central. Anthony "Deuce" White averages 11.9 points, Mike'Quan Deane 9.4, A.J. Cockrell 9.1 and Demari Edwards 8.1.
"What I like about this team is its unselfishness," Savage said. "We've had five or six players lead us in scoring. We're not dependent on just one player to score. That makes us tough to guard. Everyone has bought into the team concept. Anthony and Demari coud be scoring more than they are, but they are sacrificing that for the team's success. Demari is distributing the ball very well.
"We also have more depth this year and we're taking advantage of that."
Edwards, a 5-9 junior guard, sees a big difference between last season and this season and looks for the Chargers to get even better.
"We're getting help from our bench and we're doing the little stuff it takes to win," Edwards said. "This season has been a lot of fun. We've got a lot of potential and we deserve to be No. 1. But we've got to keep the pedal to the metal and stay on top. We're ready to be champions."
Memorial has victories over 6A No. 6 Jenks, 4A No. 4 McLain, NOAH (twice), last year's 5A runner-up East Central (twice) and Edison. The only losses have been to 6A No. 2 Edmond Memorial and 6A No. 11 Edmond Santa Fe.
The Chargers have a challenging week ahead with games at 5A No. 5 Edison on Tuesday and Booker T. Washington on Friday.
"We know they'll be coming at us hard," Edwards said. "It's easy to get pumped up for these games. We've got to match their intensity. I like playing against the best. This is going to give us a big taste of what the playoffs will be like."
Memorial will play in Catoosa's Port City Classic on Jan. 24-26.
"We've got a tough week ahead and lot of good teams left on our schedule," Savage said.
Barry Lewis 918-581-8393