Class 6A-5A girls basketball playoff preview
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Thursday, February 21, 2013
2/21/13 at 4:47 AM
Regionals: Thursday and Saturday
Areas: Feb. 28 and March 2
State Tournament: March 7-9 in Tulsa.
Road to state
First-round regional losers are out. Regional champions get two chances in area play to advance to the single-elimination state tournament. Runners-up must win twice in area to advance.
Teams to watch
Bartlesville (6A, 18-2): Seeking their first trip to state in 21 years, the No. 5 Bruins seem back on track after suffering consecutive losses to Bixby and East Central in a four-day January span. They are at home in the regionals, with one of the more favorable first-round pairings (vs. Sand Springs). Paige Wilson and Hailey Tucker are an explosive inside-out combo.
East Central (5A, 15-8): The No. 4 Cards were runners-up for the last three state titles. Senior leader Bria Pitts is gone with a knee injury and sophomore Marcia Reed is battling a high ankle sprain, but the Cards still have ample firepower, led by senior guards Ariel Williams and Darreion Clark. Every loss was to a nationally recognized or state-ranked opponent.
Booker T. Washington (6A, 21-2): Questions remain about the No. 6 Hornets because of a suspect schedule, although they have beaten East Central (twice), 5A No. 3 Carl Albert and 6A's Midwest City, Edmond North and Norman. Kaylan Mayberry, Makenzie Ellis and Mikayla Alexander lead a deep, balanced roster. The 21 regular-season wins are the second most in school history.
Players to watch
Christina Devers and Stevi Parker, Bixby: Devers, a multi-talented big guard, has carried most of the load since the 6-foot Parker's foot injury. Together, they averaged 35 points per game. Parker is set to return this weekend, and the Spartans likely will need both players to survive. They were 10-2 with Parker and 6-5 without her.
Jessica Washington, Jenks: The Trojans are a threat to win any time the 5-foot-8 McDonald's All-American gets on a roll. Dangerous from all ranges, she torched Muskogee for 51 points, Union for 38, and has 20 or more in all but two games.
I'mani Davis, Union: The 5-foot-11 senior creates offense on one end and havoc for opponents on the other. Already averaging a double-double, she stepped up her production in a closing 8-1 stretch, averaging 18.4 points, 12.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists.
Jenks at Bartlesville in a 6A regional final: If both teams survive the first round, this would be a rematch of last year when the Bruins won their first regional title since 1992.
East Central vs. Collinsville in a 5A area qualifier: In a likely meeting of Cardinals, Collinsville could be fighting for its first state tourney berth in 28 years.
Booker T. Washington vs. Muskogee in a 6A area qualifier: The No. 2 Roughers ended the regular season on a 1-3 slide, but have the ammo to rebound. Senior guards Kelsey McClure and Alexus Wilson combine for almost 36 points per game.
Original Print Headline: Class 6A-5A girls playoff preview
Jenks standout Jessica Washington has had breakout games this season of 51 points against Muskogee, 38 against Union and 20 or more in all but two games. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
Bartlesville's Paige Wilson (right) is part of a squad that finished the season 18-2. The Bruins are seeking their first trip to the state tournament in 21 years. MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World