If it’s the third week in January, then it can mean only one thing for Stephens County basketball teams.
The time has come for the annual Stephens County Tournament.
This year the annual festivities will be held at Outlaw Gymnasium in Marlow as teams from all across the county, along with Frederick High School and Ryan High School will try to reign supreme.
Tonight will see the girls teams taking the floor, with action beginning at 5 p.m. as the Velma-Alma Lady Comets (11-5) will take on the Frederick Lady Bombers (5-8).
These two teams met last year in the consolation semi-finals where the Lady Comets eliminated the Lady Bombers.
FHS has split their last six games, while the Lady Comets have won nine out of their last eleven contests.
“It’s one game at a time, and our goal is to get to the finals,” V-A coach Jerry Garrett said. “Frederick is a dangerous team. They have played a tough schedule and are well coached. We just have to go in and play our best and see what happens.”
At 6:20 p.m. the Central High Lady Bronchos (12-4) will look to continue their winning ways as they take on the Comanche Lady Indians (2-9).
Last year at Comanche, the Lady Bronchos won the consolation championship while the Lady Indians claimed third place overall.
“Stephens County is a big tournament and your always ready to play,” Central coach Chad Weldon said. “Comanche is going to be ready to go just like all the other teams. We have the capability to make a run it just depends on how the ball falls for us.”
The winner of the Comanche/Central High game will meet the winner of V-A/Frederick on Thursday night at 5 p.m.
Empire’s Lady Bulldogs (11-5) will take the floor at 7:40 p.m. as they will take on the Ryan Cowgirls (8-6) in other first round action.
EHS will be looking to rebound from a disappointing finish last year as the Lady Bulldogs were eliminated after two straight defeats.
Meanwhile, RHS will try to go one better this time around as last year saw the Cowgirls make it to the final before falling to Marlow.
Speaking of the Lady Outlaws (8-7), they will be looking for their eighth straight Stephens County Championship title this year.
Their quest will begin tonight at 9 p.m. against the Lady Donkeys of Bray-Doyle (5-11).
Bray-Doyle will be looking to improve on a fourth place finish from last year.
The winners of these two games will face one another on Thursday night at 7:40 p.m.
Tuesday night will see the boys teams in action, with several interesting matchups on tap.
First up will be the Empire Bulldogs (4-11) against the Frederick Bombers (10-3), with FHS looking to avenge its loss last year in the finals to Velma-Alma. Empire was eliminated last year after two defeats.
The winner of this contest will face either Central High or Ryan in the semifinals on Thursday night at 9 p.m.
As for the first round, the Cowboys (1-7) and the Bronchos (9-7) will see each other at 7:40 on Tuesday night.
These two teams faced off in the consolation championship last season with the Bronchos claiming victory.
“Getting the opportunity to see different types of matchups every year is very special,” Central coach John Nease said. “You always get excited about the possibility of playing a bigger school. Ryan is very well coached and is going to have a solid game plan. We just need to take things one step at a time and focus on what we can do.”
Comanche (6-9) and Marlow (9-6) will renew their rivalry at 7:40 p.m. Tuesday night.
These two teams have already met once this season on Jan. 5 at Tommy D. Weast Gymnasium in Comanche, where the Indians pulled out a thrilling 57-56 victory in overtime.
Ironically enough, these two met last season in the third place matchup where the Indians also prevailed over the Outlaws.
To the winner will go a date with either the Bray Doyle Donkeys (1-14) or the defending champion Velma-Alma Comets (14-2).
V-A and B-D will meet for the second time this season on Tuesday night at 9 p.m.
In their first meeting this season, the No. 6 Comets wasted little time in dismantling the Donkeys 75-23 on Jan. 4 at Donkey Gymnasium.