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Wests one win away from making state a family affair

February 20, 2019 - 00:00
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Ray West has a coached a team to the state tournament.

Aaron West has, too.

But never have they done it together.

With just one more win this season, that would change.

Okarche rode a red-hot start last Saturday night to a 77-64 win over Laverne to capture a Class A regional championship in Shattuck.

The win puts No. 8 Okarche into this Friday’s area championship game against No. 2 Glencoe. Tipoff is 8 p.m. at the Central National Bank Center in Enid.

The winner will advance to state. The loser gets another shot at 8 p.m. Saturday in the consolation championship.

“That would be something great for us to do together,” said Okarche head coach Ray West.

The area finals trip is the first for Okarche since 2013, Aaron West’s first as an assistant under his father. The younger West had coached Lomega to a state tournament prior to joining his father’s staff.

After struggling mightily in the first half in their regional semifinal against Shattuck, the Warriors were on fire early against Laverne.

They scored 30 points in the first quarter to build a double-digit lead.

However, foul trouble caught up in the second quarter when Tucker Neuenschwander and Lathen Stover both picked up their third fouls.

“We were scoring at will on them, but the foul trouble slowed us down,” West said.

The duo also picked up their fourth fouls in the third quarter.

However, Laverne never made a serious push to close out its deficit.

The lead was 11 at halftime and got pushed back to 14 entering the fourth.

“I thought our guys off the bench again did a really good job of coming in and helping us,” West said. “Our bench was big both games of the regional.”

Kaleb Harris and Cris Avila led the Warriors with 19 points apiece.

Harris nailed two treys in the first quarter and was 8 for 8 from the foul line.

Avila had nine in the first quarter and went 4 of 6 in the fourth from the free throw line.

Despite Okarche’s foul troubles, it still shot 10 more free throws than Laverne (36 to 26) and made 15 more (27 to 12).

Avila also led the team with seven assists.

Kalen McCarthy added 11 points and seven rebounds while Neuenschwander finished with


The Warriors are making their 23rd appearance at area in West’s 25 seasons as head coach. They’ll enter with a 23-5 record. Glencoe is 26-1.

Okarche is looking to reach state for the first time since 2012.

Lady Warriors advance

to area with 2 wins

Okarche’s hopes of winning a regional title were lost Thursday night.

The Lady Warriors’ dream of the state tournament, however, were kept alive Friday and Saturday.

Okarche is headed back to the area tournament after beating Beaver 60-45 Saturday in a regional consolation championship.

The win was the second straight for the Lady Warriors, who were defeated in the semifinal Thursday by the host, Shattuck. Okarche bounced back Friday afternoon to eliminate Turpin, 45-38.

It got within three wins of state with Saturday’s victory.

Okarche’s offense struggled much of the first two days, but that wasn’t the case early on against the Lady Dusters. Five different Lady Warriors nailed a 3-pointer as they got out to a 22-19 lead.

The team eventually made 13 treys while Beaver’s offense began to trail off.

That allowed Okarche to lead by eight at halftime and then 51-38 after three quarters.

The hottest hand from the outside belonged to Reagan Robinson, who made three of her four treys in the third quarter. She finished with 12 points.

Marlo Hunt had three 3-pointers total and led all scorers with 16 points. Rachel McDowell, with two treys, scored 11. Madison Owens added two more and scored nine.

Okarche trailed Turpin by a point at halftime, but outscored the Lady Cardinals 13-4 in the third quarter.

Owens helped preserve that lead in the fourth when she scored eight of her 11 points, including all six of her free throw attempts.

As a team, Okarche was 10 of 13 from the charity stripe in the fourth and 15 of 19 for the game.

McDowell led the team with 12 points. Robinson scored seven.

Okarche (23-6) plays No. 12 Glencoe at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in the area consolation quarterfinals. If they win, the Lady Warriors will play the Shattuck-Waukomis winner at 1:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinals.