Shawnee’s Lady Wolves are now officially in the hunt to defend their Class 5A state title as the postseason begins Thursday.
Holding a rank of No. 1 nearly all season long, the Lady Wolves ended the regular campaign at 21-2 overall and 7-1 in the Suburban Conference. They will host a regional tournament this weekend, beginning with a 6:30 p.m. match Thursday between No. 20 El Reno and No. 19 Bishop McGuinness.
Shawnee will take on Capitol Hill at 8 p.m., and the winner will face the El Reno-McGuinness winner at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
This is the third consecutive season that the Lady Wolves have recorded 20 or more wins.
Shawnee’s boys, ranked 20th in Class 5A, will travel to Carl Albert High School Friday for a regional tournament encounter (6:30 p.m.) with 10th-ranked Del City.
The Wolves finished the regular run at 9-14 overall and 4-4 in the Suburban Conference.
Postseason play continues for several Tri-County teams Thursday. Tecumseh will play in a Class 4A regional tournament at Ada, and Bethel will be in a 4A regional at Heritage Hall. Tecumseh’s girls will take on Dickson at 1:30 p.m. in the consolation bracket, while the fifth-ranked Savages encounter No. 17 Ada at 8 p.m. on the winners’ bracket side.
Teams entering regionals on the consolation side must win three games to advance to the area tournament, while those playing on the winners’ bracket side are just one win away from moving on.
Bethel’s 18th-ranked Lady Wildcats, on the winners’ bracket, will face No. 14 Heritage Hall at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The Wildcats will face Harding Charter at 3 p.m. on the consolation side.
McLoud’s teams — both entering regionals on the consolation side — will face host Newcastle Thursday at the Class 4A level. The girls will tip at 1:30 p.m., and the boys will tip at 3 p.m.
Seminole’s girls will be paired up with Checotah for a 1:30 p.m. (losers’ bracket) tip Thursday at a Class 4A regional at Henryetta, and the Chieftains will tangle with Locust Grove in an 8 p.m. winners’ bracket match.
At the 3A level, Chandler’s teams enter regional action via the consolation bracket. The Lady Lions will tip off against host Okmulgee at 1:30 p.m., and the Lions will face Lincoln Christian at 3 p.m.
Page 2 of 2 - The ninth-ranked Meeker Lady Bulldogs will face host and No. 12 Lindsay at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in a winners’ bracket 3A regional clash, after the Bulldogs take on Lindsay at 3 p.m. on the consolation side.
Both Prague teams will serve as hosts for a 3A regional, and both enter on the winners’ side. The No. 13 Lady Red Devils will face Stroud at 6:30 p.m., and the Red Devils will take on the sixth-ranked Stroud Tigers at 8 p.m.
Dale’s Lady Pirates, Class 2A’s second-ranked squad, will take on Central High at 6:30 p.m. at Wynnewood on the winners’ bracket side.
The Pirates, ranked ninth, will also face Central High. That game (consolation side) will tip at 3 p.m.
In area tournament encounters Thursday, Class B’s 10th-ranked Earlsboro girls will take on Duke at 6:30 p.m. at Chickasha. The Lady Wildcats come into area on the losers’ bracket side, and must win three games to advance to the state tournament.
Asher’s Indians, ranked seventh in Class B, will have a consolation bracket encounter at 3 p.m. Thursday in Cleveland against 10th-ranked Mulhall-Orlando. Asher also must win three to move on.
Tri-County teams that have already been eliminated from postseason play are Maud’s Tigers and Lady Tigers; Macomb’s Hornets and Lady Hornets; Earlsboro’s Wildcats; and Asher’s Lady Indians.