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Playoff quests begin this weekend for rest of county

February 14, 2024 - 00:00
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The Kingfisher girls basketball team begins its quest for a third straight appearance in the Class 4A state tournament this weekend.

KHS is the host site of a Class 4A district championship when Blanchard’s teams come to town.

The girls tipoff at 6 p.m. and the boys will follow at 7:30 p.m.

The Lady Jackets enter the playoffs ranked 10th in the class and are the third-highest ranked team in Area I.

Only two teams from the area advance to state.

Lincoln Christian, which is in the regional opposite Kingfisher, is ranked No. 2 in the class while Tuttle is No. 8.

The Lady Tigers are in Kingfisher’s regional, which will be played the following weekend in Blanchard.

Teams from both regionals will converge in the area tournament Feb. 29-March 2 at Hennessey’s Eagle Event Center.

KHS entered its final regular season game on Tuesday (after press time) with an 18-4 record and a 12-game win streak.

Among the four defeats was a 40-37 setback to Tuttle at home on Dec. 12.

That was a part of Kingfi sher’s 2-3 start.

Since then, KHS has won 16 of its last 17 games.

Kingfisher and Tuttle could potentially match up again in the regional championship game on Feb. 24.

One of Kingfisher’s big question marks entering the playoffs is health. KHS went into Tuesday night’s game without three starters (See Page 7A for more details).

••• The KHS boys have an even lengthier state tournament streak - seven years.

The Jackets have been fixtures in the 4A field every year since 2017, but the 2024 climb back figures to be uphill.

Kingfisher entered Tuesday night’s regular season finale with six wins.

On top of that, the Jackets’ district foe - Blanchard - is ranked No. 8 in the class.

Top-ranked Weatherford is also in the area.

Other ranked teams in Kingfisher’s regional are No. 9 Ada and No. 19 Byng.

Both the KHS boys and girls will match up with the winners/losers of the district between Plainview and Sulphur for the opening round of the regional tournament.

••• The Hennessey boys are looking for a return trip to the Class 2A state tournament.

That quest also begins Saturday when the HHS squads host Meeker in a district. (Note: Half of the 2A, 3A and 4A teams play a district on Friday and the other half on Saturday.)

The Eagles are a favorite to get back to State Fair Arena.

They’re 20-3 and ranked fourth in the class.

The other top-eight team in Area II is No. 5 Preston.

Among the factors working in Hennessey’s favor is the fact it gets to host both the district and regional.

The only other ranked team in Hennessey’s regional is No. 11 Riverside.

For the Lady Eagles, there are two ranked teams in the regional and five in the area.

The highest-ranked among them is No. 2 Riverside, which is in the regional.

Seventh-ranked Preston, No. 10 Okemah, No. 19 Pawhuska and No. 17 Pawnee are also in the area.

Hennessey enters the playoffs with a 9-14 record.

••• Cashion will host rival Crescent in a Class 2A district on Friday.

Cashion is a part of Area III.

The Lady Wildcats enter the playoffs with a 17-6 record and are ranked 13th in the Class.

No. 3 Merritt is also in the regional.

Other ranked teams in the area are No. 5 Oktaha, No. 14 Hartshorne and No. 20 Central (Sallisaw).

Cashion’s boys are 9-14. Their regional features No. 3 Hooker and No. 12 Fairview, a team Cashion could meet if it wins the district.

Also ranked in the area are No. 7 Ketchum and No. 9 Oktaha.