Rematches and far flung travel destinations highlight Texoma area boys Class 2A winners bracket regional tournament matchups Thursday.
Bruins and Tigers round three
It’ll be the rubber match when Caddo travels to Tushka in a battle of Bryan County Conference rivals.
The Bruins whipped the Tigers 51-37 in the finals of the Bryan County tournament. Tushka won 47-43 at home less than week later. First year Bruin coach Kolby Johnson has guided his alma mater to an 18-4 mark and a number 15 state ranking.
Johnson is hopeful his squad can avoid foul trouble in its second appearance on the Tigers’ home floor. In the earlier four-point loss, Caddo played without leading scorer Garrett McMichael for the entire second quarter due to whistle problems.
“They do a good job of mixing in guys down in the post and we got into foul trouble guarding them inside,“ Johnson said. “They would post up our guards and that’s where we got into foul trouble. So we have to watch that and do a better job guarding them inside this time.”
Johnson is getting strong play from a bunch of underclassmen.
“I’ve been pleased and we are fairly young,” he said. “We lose just one player off this year’s team. We have a lot of freshmen playing with two starting and a bunch of juniors in there. We are excited for the future and trying to put a good point at the end of the season and go out with a bang.”
McMichael averages 18.5 points per game with Kaden Johnson and Daniel Stone both scoring at a 10 points a game clip. Tushka enters the showdown 18-7 and ranked number 13 led by Dillon Mansell and Zach Dill, a Southeastern baseball signee. The game will tip off at 8 p.m. following the Caddo-Tushka girls winners bracket regional matchup at 6:30.
Rattan boys are in Rock Creek’s way again
These two schools met in last year’s Class A postseason with the Rams holding the upper hand. Now, they will do it again in 2A with just as much at stake.
“They beat us twice last year in the playoffs and beat us out,” said Rock Creek coach Rob Frederick.” We know anytime we play Rattan in the playoffs it is going to be a tough match-up regardless of whether we have won or lost during the season. They are always tough in playoffs.”
Rock Creek, 20-5 and ranked 12th, downed the Rams 61-47 in the rivals’ only meeting nearly two weeks ago in Bryan County. Frederick is not sure much can be taken from that late season meeting.
“They were down a couple of players,” he commented. “With it being so close to the end of the season and the match up in the playoffs, I doubt either one of us ran much of what we normally run. Or put too much into it.”
The Mustangs’ game plan revolves around trying to curtail the effectiveness of the Rams twin stars Keegan Bohanan and Toche Taylor.
“They’ve got two of the better kids from this part of the state,” Frederick added. “Anytime you must play them you have to do your best to try to contain those two. They both average around 20 points a game. On offense, you must try to take care of the ball, be efficient and make sure your possessions count. They can put points on the board really quick.”
Darian James (12.1 avg.) and Brock Allen (10.2 avg.) top a balanced Rock Creekoffense.
Frederick is hopeful senior forward Shacona Vandenburg (9.1 avg.) is available. Vandenburg has been out since the Rattan game with an ankle sprain. The Mustangs-Rams showdown will tip off at 8 p.m. Thursday at Tishomingo.
Road warriors Silo
The Rebels ventured to Dibble Saturday, a more than two-hour bus drive, to win its district title downing the host Demons 57-36. Thursday, Silo fares no better travel wise with another long jaunt to Walters located in southwest Oklahoma near Lawton.
There is a tad of a silver lining for coach Brett Franks and the Rebels. The Walters sub-regional gives way to a somewhat closer Latta as the destination for Friday and Saturday regional games. Being sent west also gives Silo a break from rival schools out of the rugged Bryan County Conference. Caddo, Rock Creek and Tushka join the Rebels in the Top 20 rankings of Class 2A.
The Rebels enter the winner’s bracket regional final at 21-5 and number 11 in 2A. This week’s regional finals opponent, Mangum, is unranked in 2A. Scanning the Tigers’ 17-8 record reveals no common opponents for the two schools. Mangum’s district title clincher is an attention getter, though. The Tigers impressively blew out 10th rated Vanoss, 80-59.
Thursday’s Silo regional final starts at 8 p.m.
Jim Reagan is Sports Director for KSEO/KLBC radio in Durant