Claremore High School will be a busy place Thursday through Saturday with several of the state’s top Class 4A basketball teams competing in the area tournament.
The Inola Lady Longhorns and Longhorns will represent Rogers County while Locust Grove visits from Mayes County. Also making appearances in the area tournament at Claremore will be the Vinita Lady Hornets, Newcastle, Cascia Hall, both Harrah teams, Oklahoma City Douglass and Stilwell.
The 4A area tournament gets under way Thursday with loser’s bracket games starting at 1:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m. — Inola Lady Longhorns vs. Stilwell.
3 p.m. — Inola Longhorns vs. Stilwell.
6:30 p.m. — Locust Grove girls vs. Newcastle.
8 p.m. — Cascia Hall boys vs. Stilwell.
The winners from each loser’s bracket game will play one another at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.
6:30 p.m. — Harrah girls vs. Vinita Lady Hornets.
8 p.m. — Harrah boys vs. Oklahoma City Douglass.
The winners of Friday’s games will advance to the state tournament, while the losers will play one another on Saturday.
The winners in the loser’s games will also advance to the state tournament.
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The Inola Lady Longhorns, under the direction of first-year head coach Donnie Martin, are led by senior point guard Lexi Williams and senior forward Kristen Mootry.
Williams, who is the daughter of Donnie Martin and assistant coach Lori Martin, brings playoff experience to the Inola lineup.
Williams was a member of the 2013 Class 6A state runner-up Bixby Lady Spartans last season.
The Inola Longhorns, under the guidance of veteran head coach Clyde Barkley, brings a senior-laden squad into Claremore.
The Longhorns are sparked by senior guards Travis Hall, Aaron Davis and Taylor Mootry, as well as senior power forward Casey Gill.
Hall, Davis, Mootry and Gill are four-year starters for the Longhorns, and the catalysts behind Inola’s journey to the area tournament.
Both Inola basketball teams fell to Harrah in the sub-regionals and got knocked into the loser’s bracket.
If both Inola teams lose Thursday, the season will be over.