Quite possibly the biggest annual event in Bryan County high school sports will begin Monday with the opening games of the Landmark Bank/Southeastern Electric Co-op Bryan County Basketball Tournament.
That’s a mouthful to say there is going to be some good basketball in Colbert, Calera and at Bloomer Sullivan Arena in Durant next week. All three locations are host sites for the five-day event.
Brackets are included in today’s paper, but here is a preview of the match-ups and our take on how we think the games will shake out. First up, the girls:
Rock Creek (6-11) vs. Tushka (8-11) (6:30 p.m. Monday at Colbert) – These two have not gone head-to-head this season. Clyde Young’s Lady Mustangs already have a tourney win under their belt, back in December when they won their own invitational over a red-hot Fort Towson team. Meanwhile the Lady Tigers went 1-2 at their own tourney earlier this month. This is Tushka’s first taste of the BCT since joining the county conference this season. OUR PICK: Tushka by 1.
Achille (11-7) at Colbert (14-4) (8 p.m. Monday) – The Lady Leopards are a top-five team in the Oklahoma Class 2A rankings, and they hold home court. Also, Colbert won an early season match against the Lady Eagles by a score of 73-35. There are just too many ways for Colbert to make plays, even though Achille is showing improvement. OUR PICK: Colbert by 15.
Caddo (10-5) vs. Boswell (6-12) (6:30 p.m. Monday at Calera) – The Lady Bruins defeated Boswell 57-52 last week. The Lady Scorpions are a young team with a tendency to win big but lose close. Having seen Caddo recently could be an advantage, but the tandem of Lou Pilkilton inside and Tobi Miller on the perimeter could be too much to handle. OUR PICK: Caddo by 3.
Silo (11-8) at Calera (10-7) (8 p.m. Monday) – The Lady Rebels took a 24-point win from Calera back in November on opening night. Silo has potent shooters in the Grider sisters and Kenslie Stanley on the boards. Calera holds home court in one of the most intense gym atmospheres in Oklahoma – not to mention Taylor Pickett’s at-will scoring. OUR PICK: Silo by 7.
SECOND ROUND: If our predictions hold, we’ll have Colbert vs. Tushka and Caddo vs. Silo in the semifinals on Friday. Look for a Colbert-Silo final, a re-match from their first meeting of the season on Jan. 18. (The Lady Leopards won that game by 12.)
And now for the boys:
Rock Creek (5-11) vs. Tushka (12-6) (6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Calera) – Rock Creek has muscle and quickness, but they will be facing an uphill battle against the Tigers. Tushka has managed to elude the rankings despite an impressive record. They have big wins against Boswell, Antlers, and most recently a 56-50 victory over Silo on Jan. 15. Four of their six losses have been to top-ten caliber teams. Quite simply, if Lane Faulkenberry’s shot is on, the Tigers win. OUR PICK: Tushka by 10.
Silo (14-5) vs. Achille (9-9) (6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Colbert) – The Rebels rattled off an impressive 11 straight wins to open the season, but have gone 2-5 since Dec. 14. Still, their size and physical play makes them first round favorites, even when facing what may be the county’s toughest tandem in Austin Beene and Bradley McKnight of Achille. Beene is averaging just under 29 points per game, and the Eagles went 2-1 at the Wilson Tournament in December. OUR PICK: Silo by 12.
Caddo (9-7) at Calera (9-7) (8 p.m. Tuesday) – The Bulldogs won 47-44 back on Dec. 3, but went 0-2 against ranked teams in the Tushka Tournament before bouncing back with a win over Rock Creek in their last three games. The Bruins, meanwhile, went 2-1 at the recent tourney in Wilson before dropping a 78-51 decision to Boswell last week. OUR PICK: Calera by 2.
Boswell (15-4) at Colbert (5-12) (8 p.m. Tuesday) – The Scorpions are riding a 10-game winning streak coming into the BCT. This includes a Tushka Tourney trophy with three huge victories over the host Tigers and ranked opponents from Moyers and Wright City. Markell Henderson, the 6-8 ace from Boswell who is deadly from behind the arc and in the paint, is a prime candidate for tourney MVP. The Leopards have home court advantage and the expertise of new coach Tony Robinson to help their speedy lineup. OUR PICK: Boswell by 13.
SECOND ROUND: Friday night should see a Tushka-Calera semifinal, followed by Silo against Boswell at Bloomer Sullivan Arena. Tushka owns a seven-point win over Calera from earlier this season, and Boswell holds a six-point win over the Rebels. Expect a re-match of the Tushka Tourney finals from a week ago, which ended in a 16-point win for the Scorpions.