For quite a while, Mannford basketball coach Mike Banfield was looking forward to being at the All-State Games on Thursday night at Mabee Center to receive a plaque that honored him reaching the 200-win milestone during the past season.
And then on Wednesday, Banfield learned there was going to be even more to celebrate at the All-State Games.
His nephew, Jake was added to the Large East team.
“It certainly has been exciting,” Mike Banfield said. “Jake being like a son to me, this is pretty special — a great end to his (high school) career.”
The phone call Wednesday was one the Banfields were hoping for as Jake was the first alternate.
“I was actually on my way to Tulsa to do some errands,” Jake Banfield said. “It was a blessing. Playing in the game was incredible, something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
The 5-9 guard’s selection added to the family’s All-State history. Mike Banfield, filling in for Jay Bittle, was an All-State coach assisting his father, Bob, in 2006. And in 2015, Mike Banfield was again an All-State coach.
In a college preview, Jake got to play on the same team as Lincoln Christian’s Kaleb Stokes. They will be teammates at Oklahoma Wesleyan.
“I’m so excited to play there, it’s an incredible place to me,” Jake Banfield said.
For Sapulpa guard Julian Smith, the All-State Game gave him one more chance to play with his teammate Camryn Dennis as they combined to score 23 points for the Large East in the West’s 109-89 victory.
“It was awesome,” Smith said. “I love playing with him and it might not be the last time we’re playing together. It felt good to be here, not a lot of people get a chance to play in this game.”
Smith’s brother, Kortney, had an outstanding career at Webster and played in the Class 6A-4A all-star game in 2014, but not in the All-State Game.
“I think he might be a little jealous,” Julian Smith said with a laugh before adding, “He was happy for me.”
Next year, Smith and Dennis will be playing for Texas junior colleges — Smith at Ranger and Dennis at Trinity Valley.
Their coach, Rickey Bruner, also was honored Thursday as a region coach of the year after they led the Chieftains to their first state tournament bid since 1999, but fell one win short of reaching the Mabee Center in the postseason. However, all three got there Thursday.
“It was a fun year,” Smith said.
LARGE WEST 109, LARGE EAST 89
Large West 24 27 33 25 — 109
Large East 22 23 23 21 — 89
Large West: Shemar Smith (Norman North) 23, Dyson Plumley (El Reno) 21, Christian Braveheart (Anadarko) 16, Jaylen O’Conner (Edmond Santa Fe) 9, Connor Slater (Elgin) 9, Trey Green (Kingfisher) 8, William McDonald (OKC Heritage Hall) 6, JD Ray (Midwest City) 6, Kevin Wilson (Duncan) 6, Dylan Hahn (Piedmont) 5.
Large East: Hunter Staten (Stillwater) 16, Dylan Smith (Stillwater) 15, Camryn Dennis (Sapulpa) 14, Julian Smith (Sapulpa) 9, Zach Lerblance (McAlester) 9, Seth Hurd (B.T. Washington) 8, Kaleb Stokes (Lincoln Christian) 6, Seth Pomeroy (Owasso) 5, Jace Jordan (Broken Bow) 5, Jake Banfield (Mannford) 2.
SMALL EAST 113, SMALL WEST 76
Small West 20 20 15 21 — 76
Small East 24 30 30 29 — 113
Small West: Syrus Grisby (Luther) 17, Moun’tae Edmundson Jr. (Centennial) 15, Jalen Johnson (Hobart) 14, Kellen Hines (Fort Cobb-Broxton) 9, Cason McLemore (Cyril) 6, Conner Boydston (Boydston) 5, Tate Cathcart (Hooker) 4, Hugh Edmo (Riverside) 4, Noah Claussen (Duke) 2.
Small East: Jacob Germany (Kingston) 20, Houston Greggs (Hugo) 19, Tylor Perry (Sperry) 19, Sando Hill (Vanoss) 10, RJ Weeks (Kingston) 9, Justin Seay (Rejoice Christian) 8, CJ Briley (Wright City) 8, Gabe Gouge (Dale) 8, Cale Lazenby (Glencoe) 6, Josh Lynch (Kinta) 6.