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Guthrie to open state tournament with Del City

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The Guthrie boys basketball team is headed back to the state tournament and their season schedule helped them reach the high plateau in basketball land.

The BlueJays defeated Tulsa Memorial (57-54) and Coweta (54-38) on back-to-back nights in Tulsa to clinch the tournament berth for the 25th time in school history and the first time since 2009.

Guthrie will play the Del City Eagles on Thursday afternoon, 2:00, at Catoosa High School. A win, and the BlueJays play either T. E. Central or Ardmore at 9:00 a.m. at the Mabee Center on the Oral Roberts campus.

The games can be heard on Triple Play Sports Radio 105.1 FM and Guthrie Sports Page.

Del City is the overall No. 2 seed in the tourney and spent a good part of the season ranked No. 1. The Eagles are spending their first year in 5A after spending several season in Class 6A.

Guthrie’s overall season record of 16-10 will not make you go wow, but it will grab your attention.

Head coach Pete Papahronis put his squad in two elite 6A tournaments (Midwest City/Del City and Jenks/Union) and a McGuinness tournament that is among the elite. In the three tourney’s the Jays walked away with just a 3-6 record.

Those six tournament losses of Midwest City (twice), Bixby, McGuinness, Deer Creek, and Jenks would be on many other teams resume too. However, those type teams is what made these BlueJays state tournament ready and is one of the biggest the reasons the Jays are dancing in March.

Oh, the other four losses came to Deer Creek (twice), Tulsa Central and Carl Albert. The Braves and the Titans are in the tournament as is the Irish. Bixby surprised 6A fans by advancing to state while Jenks, Midwest City and Deer Creek just missed out on state after being among favorites to reach the tourney.

Papahronis pointed at the guard play this year and the ability to play defense as being the keys to the season and that’s exactly what we have seen in the past two weeks of the playoffs.

The BlueJays dont necessary have a superstar offensively. Although, Kai Callins is starting to make his case known down the stretch of the season.

Callins scored 25 in the area consolation game against Coweta and 18 the night before over Tulsa Memorial. Jerrick Warren added 16 in the win on Saturday night and has been the spark plug for the entire season at the point guard position.

Senior guard Codee Gross gives the Jays expereince (4 years), including in the state tournament.

Jeremy Brown, L’liott Curry and J.T. McFadden were valuable coming off the bench with their ability to play defense.

Down low, both Shron Parker and Bailey Nichols continued to play with great hustle despite giving several inches in height on a nightly basis, but leaves that excuse off the floor.

For the ball coach, Papahronis is back in the tourney for the fifth time in 9 seasons. He will take an overall record of 6-2 in the state tournament and winner of the last six games including, the back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009.

 

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Categories: Guthrie Basketball
  1. Michelle
    March 5, 2012 at 9:48 am

    congrats!!!!!!! so proud of the bluejays.

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