|01/10/20 - |
The longest-running boys and girls tournament in the state tips off Thursday at the Cougar Activity Center, and the fields appear to be as tough as ever.
The 2020 East Central Oklahoma Classic will tip off at 10 a.m. Thursday with a girls matchup between Newcastle and Durant. Seven games will follow and end with the Ada girls battling Northwest Classen at 7 p.m. and the Ada boys meeting Lawton Eisenhower in the 8:30 p.m. nightcap.
The tournament continues with the same eight-game schedule on Friday and Saturday.
The boys bracket is a Class 5A gauntlet. The Cougars, ranked No. 6 in Class 4A, will face an Eisenhower club that enters at No. 18 in Class 5A.
The top seed is Class 5A No. 4 Shawnee, a team Ada is all too familiar with. The Wolves have handed the Cougars two of their three losses, and the two teams could meet in Saturday’s 8:30 p.m. championship contest if both teams earn victories on Thursday and Friday.
Teams that will have something to say about that include Class 5A No. 7 Ardmore, Class 5A No. 10 Collinsville and Class 4A No. 7 Broken Bow. Also in the field are unranked Durant and Newcastle.
“It’s a really, really good tournament field. It will only prepare us better for what we’re going to see down the road,” said Ada boys coach Garland Parks.
“We have the opportunity to see three really good teams in the tournament, and that’s what you want,” he continued. “You want to be able to play as tough of a schedule as you can so you’re prepared for whatever you see in the playoffs.”
Ada’s other loss was to Class 4A No. 2 Heritage Hall in a road game to open the 2019-20 season.
Parks said he believes his team is heading in the right direction.
“We definitely have some things we have to get better at. Handling pressure is probably No. 1,” he said. “We also just need to be able to execute. Against good teams, it comes down to being able to execute.”