Shawnee's Lady Wolves, Class 5A’s reigning champions, will attempt to defend that title as they tip off at 7 p.m. Thursday against state quarterfinals opponent Tulsa Memorial at Catoosa High School.
Two years ago, Shawnee’s Lady Wolves made an appearance in a state tournament for the first time.
One year ago, they won a state tournament.
And now, Class 5A’s reigning champions will attempt to defend that title as they enter quarterfinals play Thursday at Catoosa High School. Shawnee — Class 5A’s top-ranked team nearly all season, and with a record of 24-2 — will face Tulsa Memorial in a 7 p.m. tipoff.
The semifinals and finals will be played Friday and Saturday at Oral Roberts University’s Mabee Center.
Also vying for a state title this weekend are Dale’s Lady Pirates. Class 2A’s No. 2 team during the regular season, the Lady Pirates enter Thursday’s 3:30 p.m. quarterfinals tip against Tonkawa (at Westmoore High School) with a 27-1 record.
The Lady Pirates are owners of seven basketball crowns, with the most recent coming in 2010. This will be their first trip to a state tournament under head coach Josh Forsythe.
The Class 2A semifinals and finals will be played at State Fair Arena in Oklahoma City.
Others in the Class 2A field include Northeast Academy, Preston, Fairview, Thomas-Fay-Custer, Colbert and Alva. If Dale defeats Tonkawa today, the Lady Pirates will face the Colbert-Alva winner at 6 p.m. Friday at State Fair Arena.
Shawnee’s road to this year’s state tournament began with a 74-12 drubbing of Capitol Hill in a regional tournament opener Feb. 21. The Lady Wolves then won their third consecutive regional title via a 52-23 win over El Reno, and head coach Wendi Wells’ crew hit Suburban Conference rival Piedmont with a 60-50 loss Feb. 28 to win their second consecutive area title.
This is Shawnee’s third consecutive year of 20 or more regular-season wins, with the first in that string (the 2010-11 season) being the first ever in the history of the program.
Dale’s Lady Pirates began paving their road to the state tournament with a 60-25 district championship win over Konawa. Dale then won two in a row to capture a regional crown, defeating Central High by a 71-26 count, and Amber-Pocasset by a 34-24 count.
The Lady Pirates earned the area title by edging Fairview, 54-51, March 1 at Anadarko.
One of Dale’s seniors, Breck Clark, surpassed the 1,500-point mark for her career with a team-high 19 points against Fairview. She enters state play with 1,517 career points.
Joining Shawnee and Tulsa Memorial in the Class 5A field are Tulsa East Central, Del City, Deer Creek, Collinsville, Tahlequah and Carl Albert. A win today puts the Lady Wolves in a 7:30 p.m. semifinals tipoff Friday at ORU’s Mabee Center against today’s Tahlequah-Carl Albert victor.
Tulsa East Central was the 2012 state runner-up to Shawnee.