Players to watch

Lexy Borgstadt, Verdigris: The 5-foot-7 junior totaled 59 points and 28 rebounds in wins over Locust Grove, Vinita, Oologah and Sequoyah Claremore. Had 16 points, 10 rebounds in a 56-41 win over Locust Grove in the final of the Pirates’ tournament and totaled 20 points, seven rebounds in a 44-43 win over Vinita, the Cards’ first in seven tries over the Hornets since joining the Verdigris Valley Conference in 2015-16.

Morgan Borgstadt, Verdigris: Freshman forward combined with her older sister, totaling 21 points, six rebounds in the Locust Grove final. Also pitched in 10 points and seven rebounds vs. Vinita and had a game-high 14 points in Saturday’s win over Sequoyah Claremore.

Gentry Baldwin and Alyssa Nielsen, Bixby: In their first varsity home game, the freshmen combined for 29 points as the Spartans blew out Broken Arrow 72-35. Baldwin went 5-for-7 from 3-point range and had 17 points. Neilsen, a 5-foot-11 post, scored 12. They are part of a talented freshman class that went 33-0 in junior high.

Jenikka Boone, Liberty: Versatile freshman split five defenders on a drive to score the winning layup with nine seconds left in overtime and finished with 22 points in a 45-44 win at Riverfield. Three nights later, she scored 23 in a 45-38 win at Mounds. Boone is averaging 19.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.4 steals and 2.1 assists.

Mallory Hendrix, Owasso: Scored a career-high 28 points, helping the Rams pull out a 51-49 overtime win against Muskogee, three days after they lost by 19 to the same team on the final day of the Skiatook Invitational. Kelsie Korb hit a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of regulation to force overtime.

Avery Blubaugh and Landry Williams, Metro Christian: Junior guards combined for 57 points in the Patriots’ 73-40 win over Cascia Hall. Blubaugh scored 29 and Williams had 28.

Teams to watch

Edison (6-3): Mariah Smith scored 14 and Taniya Tease added 11 as the Eagles outlasted East Central 48-45. The win, believed to be their first over the Cards since 2010, kept them unbeaten in Green Country Conference play. Smith, a senior, averages 14.3 points. 5.7 rebounds and 4.2 steals.

Holland Hall (11-2): Elise Hill scored 18 to pace five players in double figures as the 4A No. 16 Dutch won their sixth straight, 79-40 over Metro Christian. Kalayia Johnson had 16 points, Carrington Jones-Jackson added 15, Ava Green scored 12 and Tyia Treleaven added 10.

Tahlequah Sequoyah (13-1): With blowout wins over Okmulgee and Riverside, the Indians have won nine in a row since falling to 6A No. 1 B.T. Washington 53-48 in the final of the Tahlequah tournament on Dec. 14.

Games to watch

5A No. 5 East Central (10-2) at No. 2 Will Rogers (9-2), 6 p.m. Tuesday: East Central tries to rebound from its first Green Country loss of the season when it visits the Ropers, who are tied for first with Edison. Both are 5-0 in league play.

6A No. 1 B.T. Washington (11-0) vs. No. 15 Ponca City (9-4), 4 p.m. Thursday at Jenks: Ponca’s Baylee Fincher takes on the powerful Hornets in one of a set of potential first-round scorchers in the loaded Jenks/Union Invitational.

Ms. Inside/Ms. Outside update

The 15 Ms. Inside and 15 Ms. Outside finalists will be announced in Sunday’s World.

News and notes

Demolition Derby

The Jenks/Union Invitational always has a strong field, but this year’s bracket appears to be unmatched.

Class 4A No. 2 Classen SAS, the tourney defending champion from Oklahoma City, is joined by six ranked 6A schools, including No. 1 B.T. Washington (runner-up last year), No. 5 Edmond North and No. 8 Union.

“It’s absolutely loaded,” Ponca City coach Jody Fincher said. “You could lose two or three games in this tournament and be a pretty good team.”

Fincher’s No. 15 Wildcats get B.T. Washington at 4 p.m. Thursday at Jenks and the host, 19th-ranked Trojans play Edmond North at 7 p.m.

At Union, Classen faces 6A No. 17 Putnam North at 4 p.m. Thursday and the host Redskins play East Central at 7 p.m.

Unbreakable Reed

Vinita senior Lizzie Shephard scored 22 points Friday as the Hornets rolled at Miami 73-25, giving coach Scott Reed his 498th career coaching win.

On Tuesday, Shephard will be crowned homecoming queen and the Hornets will host Stilwell with a chance to make it 499 for Reed.

If all goes well, Reed can join the 500 club when the Hornets face Ketchum at 4 p.m. Thursday in the first round of Pryor’s Red Crown Invitational.

Only 12 other active Oklahoma girls coaches have reached 500, according to Iwasatthegame.com. Howe’s Chris Brown became the 12th last week.

Making a statement

Coach Mike Buntin isn’t shy about saying this may be his best Verdigris team since the Cards last reached the state tournament in 2014.

The Cards (14-3) received contributions across the board as they won four games in six days, captured a tournament title (at Locust Grove) and ran their winning streak to seven games.

“It was a big week because it proved we are the team we thought we were when we started the season — one of the top 4A teams,” Buntin said.

Marching orders

On Thursday, the OSSAA will release area assignments for 6A-5A schools.

Five of the top eight schools in the latest 6A rankings have western addresses, meaning it’s likely that only three eastern schools (probably B.T. Washington, No. 6 Sapulpa and Union) will host regionals.

Incidentally

Shay Stone’s 19 points led five East Central players in double figures in an 86-42 win over Nathan Hale. Tiffany Robinson added 15, Rashon Griffin scored 11 and Ariaonna Mack and T.T. Mitchell had 10 each.

Rankings

OSSAARankings.com coaches poll for Jan. 20. First-place votes in parentheses with records through Jan. 18.

Class 6A

1. Booker T. Washington (18) 11-0, 489. 2. Deer Creek (8) 11-2, 469. 3. Choctaw (1) 11-0, 549. 4. Norman 10-1, 438. 5. Edmond North 10-3, 394. 6. Sapulpa 9-2, 370. 7. Moore 9-3, 367. 8. Union 9-2, 356. 9. Norman North 9-3, 296. 10. Sand Springs 10-3, 280. 11. Bixby 8-6, 230. 12. Edmond Memorial 7-5, 221. 13. Midwest City 8-4, 207. 14. Mustang 8-7, 201. 15. Ponca City 9-4, 165.

Class 5A

1. Piedmont (15) 9-2, 486. 2. Will Rogers (6) 9-2, 453. 3. Ardmore (3) 12-3, 425. 4. Carl Albert 9-3, 410. 5. East Central (3) 10-2, 383. 6. Lawton Ike 8-3, 364. 7. Tahlequah 9-3, 348. 8. El Reno 7-5, 340. 9. McAlester 8-4, 306. 10. Lawton Mac 6-6, 295. 11. Del City 5-5, 236. 12. Shawnee 6-6, 201. 13. (tie) Coweta 7-8, 191; Guthrie 7-4, 191. 15. Pryor 6-6, 186.

Class 4A

1. Anadarko (40) 12-1, 931. 2. Classen SAS (9) 14-2, 876. 3. Fort Gibson 10-1, 801. 4. Weatherford (1) 11-0, 737. 5. Muldrow 13-3, 675. 6. Victory Christian 8-3, 671. 7. Newcastle 8-5, 623. 8. Verdigris (1) 14-3, 617. 9. Vinita 11-2, 609. 10. Grove 9-1, 471. 11. Sulphur 12-0, 437. 12. Bishop McGuinness 12-2, 430. 13. Tuttle 9-3, 387. 14. Oologah 9-4, 381. 15. Ada 10-3, 299. 16. Holland Hall 11-2, 297. 17. Perkins 12-2, 257. 18. Locust Grove 10-3, 253. 19. Plainview 10-2, 169. 20. Kingfisher 8-4, 108.

Class 3A

1 Sequoyah Tahlequah (40) 13-1, 740. 2. Jones (1) 11-1, 690. 3. OKC Millwood 12-2, 643. 4. Adair 9-4, 6-2. 5. Roland 10-2, 574. 6. Alva 13-1, 554. 7. Christian Heritage 8-4, 511. 8. Kellyville 10-2, 498. 9. Comanche 9-3, 462. 10. Eufaula 8-2, 390. 11. Prague 12-2, 359. 12. Morris 8-2, 298. 13. Lexington 9-2, 296. 14. Valliant 15-0, 286. 15. Kingston 10-6, 263.

Class 2A

1. Vanoss (65) 14-1, 1,337. 2. Silo (2) 15-1, 1,230. 3. Latta 13-3, 1,151. 4. Howe (1) 14-3, 1,085. 5. Dale 8-5, 1,007. 6. Caddo (3) 14-0, 944. 7. Hartshorne 10-4, 911. 8. Amber-Pocasset 15-2, 900. 9. Oklahoma Union 12-1, 812. 10. Stratford 13-1, 736. 11. Fairland 12-1, 660. 12. Hollis 13-1, 640. 13. Cashion 9-2, 462. 14, Central Sallisaw 8-3, 406. 15, Okemah 9-4, 332.

Class A

1. Hydro-Eakly (58) 17-1, 1,269. 2. Canute (2) 17-3, 1,133. 3. Calumet 15-2, 1,014. 4. Okarche 16-1, 1,002. 5, Vici 15-1, 994. 6. Strother (5) 13-0, 973. 7. Kiowa (4) 14-3, 831. 8. Shattuck 11-1, 674. 9. Velma-Alma (1) 14-1, 638. 10. Seiling 9-3, 634. 11. Crowder 15-3, 577. 12. Cyril 13-3, 551. 13. Ripley 13-4, 377. 14. Okay 12-3, 371. 15. Cheyenne/Reydon 9-7, 323.

Class B

1, Lomega (30) 15-2, 90-6. 2. Duke (11) 13-4, 837. 3. Boise City (5) 12-1, 805. 4. Whitesboro (2) 12-3, 785. 5. Leflore 14-3, 733. 6. Varnum (2) 15-3, 729. 7. Leedey (1) 12-5, 692. 8. McCurtain (1) 16-3, 603. 9. Balko (2) 13-2, 538. 10. Battiest 15-4, 423. 11. Burlington 12-4, 382. 12. Paden 12-4, 366. 13. Lookeba-Sickles 11-6, 358. 14. Big Pasture 13-5, 330. 15. New Lima 13-5, 323.


Mike Brown

918-581-8390

mike.brown@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @mikebrownTW