While most of the talk presently revolves around football — in particular the upcoming playoffs — basketball is right around the corner.


By Fred Fehr
charles.fehr@news-star.com

While most of the talk presently revolves around football — in particular the upcoming playoffs — basketball is right around the corner.
If Shawnee’s football squad is still practicing the week of the scheduled SHS basketball opener, then one thing is certain. The SHS footballers would be enjoying one lucrative playoff run.
Shawnee’s basketballers — the boys of head coach Ron Arthur and the girls of Wendy Wells —  are slated to launch their seasons Sept. 5 at Deer Creek. Should Shawnee’s footballers advance through the Class 5A semifinals, they would be in the state championship game the weekend of Dec. 5-6.
The SHS home basketball opener is Dec. 9 against Piedmont. Hopefully, the Shawnee High School Performing Arts and Gymnasium, built just east of the high school, will be ready to serve as the stage for the Dec. 9 doubleheader.
“I think the project will be ready for our season openers,” Shawnee Athletic Director Steve Fluke said Tuesday as he recuperated from hernia surgery. “We have made a lot of progress over the past week and we should know more by next week.”
College basketball, Shawnee style, gets a much quicker kick-start than its high school partner.
Oklahoma Baptist’s men, under Doug Tolin, will serve up the inaugural fare this Saturday by entertaining Manhattan Christian, out of Manhattan, Kan., at 3 p.m. at the Noble Complex.
In a coaches’ preseason poll released Monday, OBU’s men were listed as the No. 7 team in the NAIA.
OBU’s women, guided by head coach John McCullough, will begin the season Saturday, Nov. 8 opposite Evangel University in a 1:30 tipoff at the Noble Complex.
In a Sooner Athletic Conference coaches poll, the Lady Bison were the No. 1 preseason selection in the 12-team field while the Bison were picked to finish second in the men’s standings.
Doug Tolin is assisted by Kyle Tolin while McCullough is assisted by John Marcum.
St. Gregory’s, with two new coaches, is also on the cusp of its season openers.
John Martin, who succeeded Kevin Morrissey at the Cavalier helm, will open the 2008-09 campaign Nov. 5 by entertaining East Central University at 7 p.m. Morrissey, who originally left SGU to take an assistant post at Oklahoma City University, is now the Stars’ head man after Tommy Wade departed for Oklahoma State. Martin will be assisted by Todd Eilert.
St. Gregory’s women, under Kelly Archer, will get their basketball feet wet Nov. 6 by entertaining Bacone at 7 p.m. at W.P. Wood Fieldhouse. Lindsay Vandenburg will serve as Archer’s assistant.
Both St. Gregory’s squads were picked to finish 12th.
Seminole State’s Trojans will debut Saturday at 8 p.m. against the Oklahoma Christian JV squad in Seminole. The Trojans will also play Tuesday night against the OBU junior-varsity squad at OBU.
Seminole State’s Belles will see their first action Friday and Saturday at the Cowgirl Classic in Warner.