The Duncan Banner
RUSH SPRINGS —
With the first week of January comes a time which can define a season for many teams in girls and boys high school basketball, the Black Diamond Tournament in Rush Springs.
For the 30th consecutive year, teams from all across Oklahoma will converge upon Rush Springs High School for the right to be called champions. Representing Stephens County will be Bray-Doyle, Central High and Velma-Alma.
For the Lady Donkeys (3-8), last year saw them make a run to the finals before eventually falling to Sterling, who ironically enough is the team B-D will be playing in the first round this year starting at 4:30 p.m. today.
The Lady Tigers enter the tournament No. 9 in Class A and sport a record of 13-2 on the season.
“It’s such a tough tournament that any win would be a step in the right direction for us,” B-D coach Frank Moser said. “In order to beat Sterling we’re going to have to limit the turnovers and really control the rebounding, especially on the offensive end. We can’t beat ourselves against a good team like them.”
Another girls’ team in action today will be the Central High Lady Bronchos who enter with a record of 7-2 on the season. CHHS will be facing class 2A Dibble at 7 p.m. this evening with the winner facing either Bray-Doyle or Sterling on Thursday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. Dibble enters with a record of 4-1 on the season.
Tuesday afternoon (4:30 p.m.) will see the Lady Comets of Velma-Alma try and make it seven wins in a row as they take on the Lady Warriors of Apache. Both of these teams enter with identical 7-3 records on the season. The winner of this contest will meet either Elmore City-Pernell or Rush Springs on Thursday night at 7 p.m.
“It’s a very special tournament and it’s going to be very competitive,” V-A coach Jerry Garrett said. “Apache is a very good team with plenty of tradition. Every game over there is going to be tough. You better be ready to play every game or else you’re not going to win any games over there.”
Meanwhile on the boy’s side of the bracket, the bull’s-eye is squarely on the backs of the No. 6 Velma-Alma Comets (9-1), who are the defending champions after knocking off Sterling in the finals. V-A will start the defense of its title tonight at 8:15 p.m. against Rush Springs (0-6).
These two teams have already met once this season, with the Comets crushing the Redskins 82-36 on Nov. 30 in Velma. Either Elmore City-Pernell or Apache awaits the winner in the second round on Friday night at 8:15 p.m.
“We’re going to be ready and treat it like any other game,” V-A coach Kenny Bare said. “You can’t make the big game unless you win the first game. Come game time our boys are going to be focused and ready.”
Another boys’ team in action today will be the Central High Bronchos (7-3), who will be meeting Dibble (7-2) at 5:45 p.m. The winner of this game will meet the winner of the No. 5 Sterling (14-1)/Bray-Doyle (0-8) game which takes place on Tuesday night at 8:15 p.m.