Woodward, Okla. —
Four state basketball championships are on the line this weekend and area schools are hoping to bring some of the gold back to Northwest Oklahoma.
The best chances may be in Class B where the 2nd-ranked Arnett boys enter as the favorite based on their big win over No. 1 Forgan last week.
That win also put Arnett in a more favorable side of the bracket away from two-time defending state champion Forgan and dangerous Fargo and Coyle teams.
The top first-round matchup has Forgan against a Coyle team that may be the most athletic in the tournament. Fargo and Red Oak is another to watch as both teams have been ranked in the top 5 throughout the season.
In Class B girls, 7 of the 8 qualifiers are from western Oklahoma with Red Oak the only eastern team. Leedey and Shattuck both have veteran teams looking to advance while Hammon has been runnerup the past 2 years.
Defending champion Lomega lost to Red Oak in the area but bounced back to qualify the next night.
Timberlake, however, might be the sleeper of the whole bunch.
In Class A boys, Laverne qualified and will get the biggest test of the first round. Weleetka has an explosive offense and stifling the defense. Laverne, though, has some championship experience from the football season.
The best first-round matchup looks like defending champion Cheyenne against once-beaten Glencoe.
As for Class A girls, Cheyenne will also be in the mix. Okarche and Frontier are 2 of the favorites and they could meet in the semifinals.
Here are the Class A and B state basketball pairings
Class A boys
Thursday at Southern Nazarene
Game 1: Velma-Alma vs. Fort Cobb-Broxton, 2 p.m.
Game 2: Cheyenne vs. Glencoe, 3:30 p.m.
Game 3: Sterling vs. Wright City, 7 p.m.
Game 4: Weleetka vs. Laverne, 8:30 p.m.
Friday at State Fair Arena
Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner, noon
Game 1 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday at State Fair Arena
Championship, 1:45 p.m.