EDMOND – After the OBCA All-State Eastern Major School ranks were announced, the team went to gather at the midcourt at Hamilton Field House but suddenly stopped and looked at each other in confusion.
Their entire career, this is usually when they gather in tight circles, scream and then break it down before giving a tip. But everything was different since last time in court.
Beyond a few AAU matches, the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State Basketball game Saturday is a meaningful middle school basketball played in Oklahoma since the season was cut short because of COVID-19 on March 11, the day the state tournament is set to give a clue.
East beat West 89-84 on Saturday, but most likely it will not be remembered by those who play or attend.
“We are all just ready to play a real basketball game,” Fort Gibson guard Conner Calavan said. “We have played pickup (the game) and do our own training, but it’s been five months since we played a real basketball game, so I think we are all very excited to do that.”
As a precaution against cornoavirus, masks must be worn by everyone except playing or eating. Temperature taken at the door. The players and coaches have separate entries into the arena rather than fans. Fans are regularly reminded about the PA system to keep their distance in the stands.
To say the least, it was different from the last time Sand Springs point guard Davon Richardson played a basketball game – the victory against Owasso who sent the Sandites to a never-ending state tournament.
“It’s never been that long without basketball,” Richardson said.
Richardson led East with 17 points and also added five rebounds and three steals. Calavan scored 11 thanks to three make from outside the 3-point arc.
Richardson and Calavan did not expect to get another chance as high school athletes, because they had already begun preparing for a college career in Central Oklahoma, where the two would become roommates.
On Saturday, their world collided when they played with their new teammates for the first time representing their respective high schools. It was also the first match played on a new pitch at Hamilton Field House on the UCO campus.
“That’s very cool,” Calavan said. “We are both ready to be here. Playing together for the first time on a new floor in the gym is a very cool experience. It was very fun.”
Christian Cook from Midwest City, playing for the West, led all scorers with 22. Edison Mason Alexander collected 13 points for Timur before retiring in the third quarter. Brock Davis from Holland Hall is the only other Eastern player to win double digits with 10 points.
Small East 85, Small West 75
Timur completed his sweep, doing so with the help of a strong start and end, outperforming West 23-15 in the first quarter and 32-16 in the fourth quarter, to win the Small School match.
Roland Jaxon Wiggins leads all scorers with 16 points for Timur. Austin Fenton from Talihina and Patch Hamilton are also in double numbers with 14 and 12 points respectively.
Rejoice from Christian Jaden Lietzke who scored two points and Mason Drake from Perry added seven points.
East: Davon Richardson (Sand Springs) 17, Mason Alexander (Edison) 13, Conner Calavan (Fort Gibson) 11, Brock Davis (Holland Hall) 10, Kavon Key (Memorial) 9, Anfernee Nelson (Jenks) 9, Josh Jones ( Broken Bow) 7, Brayshawn Finch (Memorial) 6, Breath of Jalen (Booker T. Washington) 4, Caden Hale (Metro Christian) 3
West: Christian Cook (Midwest City) 22, Jordan Thompson (Southmoore) 13, Kendural Jolly (Putnam City) 13, Demontreal Crutchfield (Del City) 7, Diondre Alexander (John Marshall) 6, Ashawnti Hunter (Lawton) 6, Nathaniel Goodlow (City Del) 6, Leontaye McClennon (Lawton MacArthur) 5, Brennan Burns (Bethany) 3, Cash Novotny (Anadarko) 3
East: Wiggins Jaxon (Roland) 16, Austin Fenton (Talihina) 14, Patch Hamilton (Asher) 12, Carson Thompson (Canada) 9, Luke Gunns (Paden) 8, Ethan Newberry (Kiowa) 7, Mason Drake (Perry) 7 , Tyler Cloud (Quinton) 5, Braden Shaw (Moyers) 5, Jaden Lietzke (Rejoice Christians) 2
West: Myles Jeffries (Milwood) 14, Jameson Richardson (Duke) 12, Brandon Zeno (Star Spencer) 12, Jerod Kerr (Hooker) 8, Cade Allen (Hammon) 7, Daniel Koonce (Crossing Christians) 6, Jacob Woody Cashion) 6, Jakobie Kasemeyer (Cyril) 4, Jace Edelen (Arapaho-Butler) 4, Matt Milner (Duke) 2