By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
The Chisholm boys basketball team plays its final home game of 2012-13 tonight, but at least the Longhorns have a shot to go out with a bang — an upset win against a defending state champion.
The Longhorns (7-16) host defending state champion and current 3A No. 1 Oklahoma Centennial (16-7) at 8 p.m. at Paul J. Outhier Field House in a Area I District 1 playoff.
Both teams will advance to the regional round, the winner into the top bracket against the winner of a District 4 matchup between Perry and Perkins-Tryon. The loser plays the loser of the same District 4 game.
To be in the former, Chisholm likely will have to beat its longest odds of the season.
“I would say with them being ranked No. 1 it will be our toughest,” coach Cody Spurlock said. “They’re for real. They’re the defending state champions, and ranked No 1.”
The Bison have lost just three times to in-state schools, each of them against then-top-two teams — 72-65 against 2A No. 1 Northeast Academy, 71-66 against 4A No. 1 Douglass and 62-60 3A No. 2 Millwood.
“We’re going to have to handle the pressure,” Spurlock said. “They like to press, turn up the pressure, make us handle the ball. We cannot rush. We have to be patient, but still handle the ball, which can be hard to do.
“We’re going to have to be on our game. We’ve all got to be in tune, make shots. We’ve got to play together. I know that sounds like typical coach speak, but it’s what we’re going to have to do.”
The game will be the final tilt at Paul J. Outhier Field House for three Chisholm seniors, Reid Weber and Caleb Lang, who likely will start, and Branden Meier, who has been with the team, but on the bench after suffering a season-ending knee injury Dec. 14 against Kingfisher.
“This group, they like to play basketball,” Spurlock said. “You can’t really tell, record-wise, what our season’s been like. They come in every day, they play hard. They’ll play anyone you ask them to. They work hard, and they don’t make excuses.”
The Bison are coached by former Enid assistant and Alva head coach Scott Raper.
Young Lady Longhorns face road-weary Lady Bison
Oklahoma Centennial enters tonight’s 6:30 girls contest with a respectable 14-9 regular season mark, but the Lady Bison are just 1-6 in road games.
Sophomore Megan Galusha leads Chisholm (12-11) with 16 points per game, pacing a Lady Longhorn team that typically floors four underclassmen in its opening lineup.
Oklahoma Centennial has won four of its last five and seven of nine after starting the season 7-7. Chisholm enters the playoffs coming off its fourth-worst loss of the season, a 51-31 defeat at Tonkawa.
Each will advance to the regional round, the winner into the top bracket against the winner of a District 4 matchup between Perry and Perkins-Tryon. The loser will play the loser of the same District 4 game. Both games are Feb. 21 at Perkins-Tryon.