Rejoice Christian girls still waiting as weather delays games
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Thursday, February 28, 2013
2/28/13 at 4:55 AM
The Rejoice Christian girls are playing a waiting game in the Class 2A basketball playoffs.
Senior point guard Ashton Earnhardt starts every day not knowing if it will be the last time she practices or plays with her Eagles teammates.
The Owasso private school has had three postponements since play in the tournament at Chisholm High School (near Enid) was scheduled to begin on Feb. 21.
The Eagles are hoping to finally play Mooreland at 1:30 p.m. Thursday for a berth in the area tournament.
"I'm not a fan of (the delays)," Earnhardt said. "It kind of drags things out. I'm ready to get back to playing."
Rejoice's long week started when the first wave of wintry weather hit last Thursday, making travel difficult for schools in the northwestern and north-central parts of the state and causing postponements at various 4A-3A-2A regional sites and A-B area sites.
The Eagles won their delayed first-round game at Chisholm on Friday, beating Hooker 44-39, and won again Saturday, 33-32 over OKC Christian Heritage. Senior forward Chelsea Hilbert made the go-ahead basket with 45 seconds left. That moved the Eagles one game from the area tournament.
As of Tuesday, Mooreland's Bearcats were buried under snow. A blizzard started Sunday night and dumped about 20 inches on the northwestern Oklahoma community.
Mooreland officials said Thursday was the earliest the Bearcats would be able to keep their date with Rejoice.
"A few of the roads are clear," Mooreland coach Bobby Dawson said late Tuesday. "But if you live on a side street, you're still probably pretty much stuck unless you've been shoveling snow all day. I haven't seen my girls or been able to practice for two days."
Rejoice's girls have had plenty of practice - every day since playing their last game five days ago.
"We're telling them to bring their stuff and we'll either practice or play," head coach Wally Poplin said.
Earnhardt said she doesn't mind the part where her season gets extended.
"Being a senior, I anticipated having my last practice with the team last week. With all the delays, I can't know when that's going to happen. But its OK, because I don't want (the season) to end," she said.
Thursday's loser will be done, but the winner begins play Friday in the area tournament at the Chisholm Trail Arena in Enid. Competition at that site has been moved back a day to accommodate the Eagles and Bearcats.
They weren't the only schools affected by weather. Area qualifiers were still being determined at four sites Wednesday, and at least two more games were scheduled Thursday at Weatherford to conclude that 4A regional.
Mike Brown 918-581-8390