News and Notes: Oologah shows progress
BY BARRY LEWIS World Sports Writer
Monday, February 25, 2013
2/25/13 at 3:46 AM
Oologah coach Jim Deaton was pleased with his young team's progress during a season that ended with a 47-45 loss to Cascia Hall in a Class 4A regional on Saturday.
"I never dreamed before the season that we would win 16 games," said Deaton, who inherited a team that went 12-14 last year. "At the beginning of the year we really didn't know what to expect. We lost our leading scorer, Dalton Barnes, to knee surgery, and we had to start plugging kids in and watch them grow.
"I told our kids to not worry about wins. I just wanted them to after each game to ask themselves, 'Are we a better team?' There were nights early in the year we couldn't say that but as the season progressed we got better."
Freshman Breyden DeSpain was the team's leading scorer at 16.1 points per game. He had 43 of Oologah's 84 points in the team's two regional games. Oologah defeated Metro Christian 39-32 in overtime on Friday.
"We knew he could score, but he grew up as a player," Deaton said. "At the beginning of the year he basically was just a scorer but he became a complete player. Our second leading scorer was a sophomore, Levi Potter. Early in the year we couldn't control tempo of games, but as the season progressed we were able to handle the pressure teams put on us and slow the tempo. We're not big and blessed with great leapers, but they became a lot more cerebral."
Deaton is excited about his team's future.
"We won nine of our last 12 games," Deaton said. "Even in the losses we competed. We've got seven kids coming back who started during the course of the season. Now we've got to get them in the weight room this summer and get stronger."
Thomas commits: Hale senior DaVaunta Thomas committed to Arkansas-Fort Smith. Thomas, a 6-5 forward, averaged 24 points and 11 rebounds this season. He scored 30 in a 6A regional loss to Stillwater on Friday.
Eagles soar: In 5A, Edison won its sixth regional title in seven seasons with a 67-52 victory over Guthrie on Saturday. Don Simmons scored 21 points and Brian Speaks added 20 for Edison. It was a rematch of the teams' 2009 state title game won by Guthrie, 47-45.
McLain's Keondre Jones sets up a play during a game at Bristow on Friday. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World