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by kyle spade
messenger & republican
The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association playoffs claim four more county teams.
The Timberlake Lady Tigers and Tigers and the Cherokee Lady Chiefs and Chiefs took losses during the regional round that gave them an early exit out of the playoffs.
Timberlake Tigers finished with an 11-15 record on the season and the Lady Tigers were 16-11. Cherokee Chiefs finished 18-7 and the Lady Chiefs were 13-14.
Seniors for the ball clubs include: Ashlee Wright, Kaitlin Ducotey, Katie Schanbacher and Nicole Unruh of Cherokee; Tanner Bowman, Corbin Hutchison and Connor Hester of Cherokee; Kate Birkenfeld and Raven Bishard of Timberlake; and Braden Robinson of Timberlake.
Coach Kirsten Pruett and the Burlington Lady Elks are one win away from advancing to the state tournament for the second year in a row.
The Lady Elks advanced through the winners bracket after winning the district championship.
The first game of regionals featured Burlington against Copan. Thanks to Sarah Garvie’s 41 points and Kelsi Smith’s 31 points the Lady Elks were able to cruise to a 79-53 win.
Next up for the Lady Elks was the regional championship matchup against Varnum.
Burlington led at the end of the first quarter 12-6. They increased their lead when they scored 24 points in the second quarter to give them the 36-16 lead.
Lady Elks never let up as they scored 14 and 19 in the final two quarters. The final score was 69-34. The win advanced Burlington to area in the winners bracket.
Garvie scored 27, Smith dropped in 25 points, Allyson Stewart added 10 and Stephanie Croft and Sadie Vore contributed four points each.
The Lady Elks will face a team they know too well when they match up with conference rival Lomega. The two teams split the regular season 1-1 when Lomega defeated Burlington in Burlington and the Lady Elks beat them in the Cherokee Strip Conference championship game.
The Lady Elks and Lady Raiders game is scheduled to tip off at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 27, in Stroud. The winner of the game advances to the state tournament and the loser will play at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, in Stroud.
Pruett said, “This was their goal, they have been working for this since August.”
This is the first time since Pruett has been at Burlington that her team is playing for the area championship. She has been there 12 years.
The Elks, coached by Ken Jones, took their first loss of the playoffs from Orient Conference foe Cimarron during the regional championship.
During the first game of regionals the Elks were able to beat number 11 Earlsboro to advance to the championship game.
Kyle Ellerbeck led the Elks with 25 points, Reno Talbott added 17 and Tanner Rieger scored 16.
Burlington fought back and forth with Cimarron during the first quarter. But they trailed 16-8 at the end of the quarter. At half time that deficit was increased to 29-20 in favor of Cimarron. The third quarter was a tight one as the Elks outscored Cimarron 7-6 to put the Trail Blazers on top 35-27. A big final quarter for the Elks still brought them short as the final score was 49-47.
Ellerbeck led the Elks again with 20 points and Rieger added 15 points.
The Elks have a tougher road to state. They meet Paden at 3 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 26 in Stroud. The winner of that game advances to play at 3 p.m. Feb. 27 in Stroud.
For Burlington to advance to the state tournament, they have to win three in a row.