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Pandemic playing havoc with area basketball schedules

Brian Johnson
North Rock Creek's Jace McRay (4) pressures Tecumseh's Merek Harjo (20) during action last Tuesday. NRC defeated Tecumseh, 66-59. North Rock Creek is scheduled to play at Chandler tonight while Tecumseh's boys visit Bethel.

The Shawnee Lady Wolves and Wolves are finally set to launch their 2020-2021 basketball seasons tonight at home against the Ada Lady Cougars and Cougars at the SHS Performing Arts and Athletic Center.

The varsity girls' game is set to tip off at 6 p.m. with the varsity boys' contest to follow at approximately 7:30 p.m.

It's been a havoc-filled start to the basketball season in the area and beyond due to scheduling changes attributed to COVID-19.

Shawnee actually had home games postponed this past Tuesday with El Reno but it wasn't because of the pandemic but due to El Reno's continued participation in the Class 5A state football playoffs. The rescheduled date for the Wolves-Indians' basketball doubleheader is Dec. 15 at the Shawnee PAAC.

There will be no spectator limitations tonight in the PAAC, but social distancing will be encouraged and attendees are required to wear a mask at all times, unless eating or drinking.

This will be the season openers for both Shawnee and Ada. Two new head coaches will be making their debuts in the boys' game – Paxton Kilby for Shawnee and Kyle Caufield for Ada. Wendi Wells (Shawnee) and Christie Jennings (Ada) return to coach in the girls' contest.

In other scheduling changes tonight, Tecumseh will play at Bethel in a boys' game only. The junior varsity game will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the varsity boys to follow at around 8 p.m. Quarantine issues have hit the Bethel girls' program and a reschedule date will be determined later.

Meeker will host Wellston in boys-only JV and varsity games tonight as well. The JV contest will begin at 5 p.m. with the varsity to follow at 6:30 p.m.

Two area schools are slated to square off tonight as the North Rock Creek Lady Cougars and Cougars visit the Chandler Lady Lions and Lions. It will be the season openers for Chandler while North Rock Creek opened play Tuesday. The Lady Cougars fell to Tecumseh, 57-45, and the Cougars were 66-59 winners over the Savages. Limited seating will be available in Chandler tonight. North Rock Creek players each received two vouchers to purchase tickets for their families while Chandler will have a limited number of vouchers for each of their families.

The Prague Lady Red Devils and Red Devils, after successful season-opening victories at Wewoka Tuesday night, are set to host Tulsa McLain. Concerning attendance, there will be a 40% capacity level. Each Prague player and cheerleader will be given six ticket vouchers for entry while McLain gets two per player.

McLoud's scheduled varsity boys game at Okemah has been postponed tonight, but the McLoud girls will play.

Seminole's two varsity games at Blanchard have been postponed after the Lady Chieftains and Chieftains opened the season at Holdenville Thursday night.

Also postponed for tonight are Earlsboro's two home games against Roff. The next scheduled action for the Lady Wildcats will be Monday at home. The games are part of the Little River Conference Tournament. The girls play Sasakwa at 6:30 p.m. and the boys take on Paden at 8 p.m. After Monday, the remainder of the tournament is scheduled to shift to Seminole High School.

Macomb's doubleheader tonight at Bowlegs has been canceled due to quarantine with the Macomb boys' team. The next action for the Macomb girls will be Monday against Mason at 4:30 p.m. at Varnum in the Little River Conference Tourney.

Asher is scheduled to play Allen tonight.

Dale is idle until Tuesday when it is slated to host Jones.