Players to Watch: Gabby Gregory, Holland Hall

Gabby Gregory (right) repeats as the Tulsa World girls state player of the year. IAN MAULE/Tulsa World file

For only the second time in the past 20 years, the Tulsa World’s girls state basketball player of the year is a repeat winner.

Holland Hall’s Gabby Gregory captured the award for the second consecutive year. The only previous player to do that in this century was Edmond Santa Fe’s Courtney Walker in 2011 and 2012.

Gregory, a University of Oklahoma signee, also was honored last month as the Grigsby’s Carpet, Tile and Hardwood All-World Girls Athlete of the Year. She also was an All-State athlete in volleyball and excelled in track and field.

In basketball, Gregory averaged 22.6 points and 10.3 rebounds per game as a senior as she led Holland Hall to the Class 4A state tournament. She also was the Gatorade and USA Today state player of the year. Gregory ranks eighth all time in Oklahoma 5-on-5 girls history with 2,701 career points.

Putnam North guard Micah Thomas is the World’s state boys player of the year.

Thomas, a Texas State signee, led the state in scoring at 29.7 points per game as he lifted the Panthers to the 6A state final after they entered the postseason ranked 16th. He scored 107 points in three state tournament games. In 2018, he was the World’s selection as the 6A state tournament MVP as he helped the Panthers win their first gold ball. He had 2,141 career points.

Thomas is the first Putnam North player to win the award since 1987 when Mike Maddox shared it with Booker T. Washington’s Richard Dumas.

Beginning with the 2016-17 school year, the announcement of the World’s state player of the year award was moved to the summer, following the All-World Awards that honor the top athletes in the Tulsa area. The World’s state player of the year for the 2017-18 season was Midwest City Carl Albert’s Mason Harrell, who also is at Texas State.

Thomas and Harrell followed two-time World state player of the year winners Trae Young of Norman North and Shake Milton of Owasso — both are now in the NBA.

Tulsa extension likely

Oklahoma Coaches Association executive director Milt Bassett said Friday that it is likely the OCA Clinic and All-State Games will remain in Tulsa at least through 2021 and that will probably be finalized next week. They have been held in Tulsa since 2009. Bassett said the OCA is happy with its relationships with the host hotels, the Marriott Southern Hills and Crowne Plaza, and Oral Roberts University, which houses the athletes and is the basketball and volleyball venue.

“They’ve been good to us,” Bassett said, who added about this year’s OCA Clinic, “This has been one of the smoothest weeks we’ve ever had. The exhibitors were happy and we had large crowds (of coaches attending).”

Barkley honored

Clyde Barkley’s 40th season as boys basketball head coach at his high school alma mater, Inola, was capped by being honored as a region coach of the year Thursday night during the All-State Games at the Mabee Center.

At the OCA Clinic this week at the Marriott Southern Hills, he bumped into his high school coach, Wiley Ryal.

Barkley had 14 rebounds in the 1973 All-State Game — the first played at Mabee Center.

“He taught me rebounding,” Barkley said about Ryal.

Could Ryal have forecast in the early 1970s that Barkley would have a long coaching career?

“I knew he loved basketball,” Ryal said.

Versatile lineman

Elgin offensive lineman Mitchell Ritter played for the West on Friday in the All-State Game at Bixby.

In 2013, he was profiled as a sixth-grader by the Tulsa World’s Kelly Bostian after he won the NASP (National Archery in the Schools Program) state archery championship, which he also won the next three years. He was a two-time runner-up at nationals. In 2015, Ritter won the Archery in Schools Middle School World Championship. He also has represented the U.S. national team that won a world tournament in Africa.

Baseball commits

Metro Christian senior Price Allman, who is in the All-World preseason football top-10 linebacker rankings, has committed to play baseball at Oral Roberts.

Holland Hall junior Wallace Clark, who will be the Dutch’s starting quarterback, has committed to play baseball at Oklahoma.

Football forms needed

All football coaches who have not received a Tulsa World preseason football questionnaire are encouraged to email Barry Lewis at barry.lewis@tulsaworld.com, and those who have not filled out and returned a questionnaire are encouraged to do so as soon as possible.

Sports Writer

Barry covers pro baseball, including the Tulsa Drillers, coordinates the World's high school sports coverage, and writes on high school football and basketball. Phone: 918-581-8393