By Corbin Hosler
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — The playoffs begin on Friday for schools in Class 4A and lower, and Community Christian has high hopes for its first postseason as part of the OSSAA.
The Royals open at Wellston on Friday, where the girls (12-10) face Wellston (12-10) at 6:30 p.m. and the boys (17-5) square off against the Tigers (7-14) at 8 p.m.
For boys coach Culley Seymour, whose team is 17-5 but unranked in Class 2A, the district weekend offers his team a chance to prove themselves. While the Royals are the higher seed, they’ll have to face Wellston in its home gym in an elimination game. If they win, they’ll likely face Hennessey in the second round for the district title.
“Wellston will be tough and it’s their home gym,” he said. “But we feel like if we can shoot well and play solid defense we can move on and give Hennessey a run for their money.”
For the Royals to do that, they’ll have to eliminate any offensive rebounds for the opposing team, something that has been a focus for them in the last few weeks. And CCS must run. The Royals are averaging more than 60 points a game and are aiming to hit 70 to give themselves a chance to win this weekend.
“We like to push it and get easy baskets when we can,” Seymour said. “That’s something we’ll have to do.”
And, while the district tournament is the first step, the Royals have larger goals. They hope to make it out of the regional tournament and into the area rounds in their first Class 2A postseason.
“Last year at this time we were playing for the state championship and wrapping up our season,” Seymour said. “So this is all new to us and we’re just getting started in the postseason.”
Wrestling squads head to regionals: After ending the dual season last week, Norman High and Norman North will travel to Midwest City for regionals on Friday and Saturday.
Both teams have enjoyed big success at times this season, and both schools have ranked wrestlers expected to perform well this weekend.
For North, sophomore Hayden Hansen will have the most eyes on him. The third-ranked wrestler at 126 pounds, he’s expected to contend at the state meet. The T-Wolves are also looking for strong showings from Blake Bassham, ranked seventh at 145 pounds, and Austin McTrusty, who will enter the heavyweight division ranked ninth.
NHS also has a trio of wrestlers ranked entering the meet. Colin Pasque leads the group by being ranked No. 6 at 138 pounds, while Derek Ross and Isaiah Davis are 10th and seventh at 113 and 152 pounds, respectively.
Cox questionable for Clash: Bethany Cox, the Tigers’ senior leader and second-leading scorer, faces an uncertain status heading into Friday’s Crosstown Clash at Norman High.
Cox missed Tuesday’s loss to Westmoore with the flu, and the Tigers played uninspired in her absence. Coach Nichole Copeland said the team should have her back in time for regionals next week but isn’t sure if she’ll be ready to go by Friday.
“This flu is nasty, and it takes a lot out of you,” she said. “She doesn’t like to not be on the floor so she’ll do whatever she can to be ready. We’ll see what she’s got whenever she’s able to make it back.”
Ely slowly returning to full strength: While Cox may not be on the floor against Norman North, leading scorer Taylor Ely will be. But she won’t be at full strength.
The junior injured her ankle a month ago and was off the floor for two weeks. She returned slightly ahead of schedule and has played well for the Tigers, but she’s had a noticeable limp after several games.
Before Tuesday’s contest, Ely said she was getting better and estimated she’s playing at 85 percent.
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