Sequoyah County area coaches are gearing up for the 16th annual Armstrong Bank Sequoyah County Area Classic. Teams have been seeded, brackets created, and now everyone is waiting for the action to begin. Some of the coaches were asked if there are specific teams they expect to be tough this year, and what players on their teams would be the ones to watch.
Dean Armstrong, coach of the Gans Grizzlies boys, said he expects Roland to be the team to beat this year. On his own team, he says Hunter Fletcher is his player to watch. Hunter has averaged 15 points and 8 rebounds per game so far this season.
Scott Lowe, coach for the Roland Lady Rangers, says all the teams present a challenge. "It's a big deal to all of the teams because we're very familiar with each other and there are lots of bragging rights on the line." Coach Lowe thinks his players to watch will be Mikiah McDonald, who is his leading scorer, and Sadie Carter, a dynamic guard who can score and distribute.
Tanner Ryan, coach of the Gans Grizzlies girls, expects a tough tournament, but his girls are ready to compete. He says his senior player, Shoana Remy, is the Gans girl to look out for because she is physical and has a knack for getting to the rim.
Robert Brunk, coach for both the Central Tigers boys and girls teams, thinks the boys side will be very tough this year. "This big schools are always tough to play against due to their size and athleticism." He expects Roland to be top seed, with Muldrow and Sallisaw right with them. He also believes Vian, Stigler, Gore and Gans will be improved over last year. "There always seems to be an upset at some point during the week," Brunk said, "whether it is in the first round or third round, and that is what makes it fun to watch."
Brunk said he plays a lot of young kids, who play hard and can be exciting to watch. "I hope that is what people see when they come to watch us, and I hope whether they see Shade Nofire, Wes Busch, Austin Brown, John Philpot, Ty Gibson, or any of our hard-working players have a good game night, that they get their money's worth and see an exciting game."
The tournament will get rolling on Monday with Sallisaw girls vs. Stigler girls at Stigler-6:30 p.m.; Gans girls vs. Roland girls at Sallisaw-6:30 p.m.; Stigler boys vs Vian boys at Stigler-8 p.m.; and Gans boys vs. Muldrow boys at Sallisaw-8 p.m. Complete brackets of teams and times can be picked up at any Sequoyah County Armstrong Bank location. By Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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