OAKS - Despite being from the same school, the different approaches taken by the Oaks Warriors and their female counterparts are as different as night and day.
While the Lady Warriors tend to play a more structured double low post set offense, the boys, by their very makeup, go at things in an up tempo run and gun style.
Following a successful 17-7 record last year, 21-year veteran head coach Vince Osburn is looking forward to the upcoming campaign, saying, “We’ve got the makings of a decent team again this season.”
With 15 on his roster, Osburn is counting on a couple of seniors to carry the mail.
Returning at guard is Oaks fireball Cheyenne Foreman, who is easily her team’s playmaker.
Joining Foreman is fellow 12th grader Rachelle Hutchinson who looks to have secured the spot at the Lady Warrior post position.
Osburn is full of praise for both of them saying, “Foreman can guard anybody and Hutchinson has got some much improved moves underneath the hoop.”
Shayla Barnet, who continues to get better each season will team up with Hutchinson in the double low post.
Underclassmen, Malaurie Blackfox, who is an excellent ball handler, and Francis Milspaugh, who Osburn describes as, “An outstanding defender,” look to round out the starting five.
Laurie Osburn, Chynna Cooper and J’Nae Hogshooter will see their share of the hardwood as well.
Coach Osburn went on to add, “We really need to play some tough games to get ready for the playoffs this year.”
And to that end, Oaks has scheduled home and away games with both Westville and Oktaha. Add to that a pair of tournaments and games against Kiefer and Afton, all in January, and they will most certainly get those tough games.
When it comes to the Oaks Warriors, there’s no doubt that they will be looking to a pair of fleet seniors for leadership.
Returning starters Colby Marlar and Logan Reasor are a couple of speed merchants that can take control of any game at any time.
And coach Gary Hummingbird, who normally keeps things pretty close to vest, confided, “We went 13-11 last year and went down in the regional at Preston. This season I think we’ve got a good shot at advancing to the area tournament.”
Hummingbird, in his fourth year at the Warrior helm, went on to point out that this year’s group of roundballers are good kids, who in addition to being good all around athletes are pretty good students, as well.
The board crashing Marlar was named as an 8-man football all star at tight end, while the fleet Reasor was chosen as an alternate return man for the July showcase in Miami.
Coach Hummingbird went on to point out, “Due to the fact that we made the football playoffs this season we were a little late getting started in basketball. So basically, we’re about a week behind everyone else. But we’re working hard to get ready for our first game on December 1.”
With 17 players on the roster, Hummingbird expects to play about 8 deep throughout the season.
Joining forces with the pair of stalwart seniors will be Tanner Philpot and Jeremiah Snell with freshman Chris Haney.
With the dissolution of Arrowhead Conference the hard charging Warriors might have some difficulty getting some of the regional attention that they will no doubt deserve. They will have to play virtually the same brutal January schedule as the ladies will. And at first glance of the boys’ side of the mixed schedule, the competition appears to be ramped up a notch.
The Warriors could end up this season with 15 wins, maybe less, maybe more. But one thing remains for certain….they will be fun to watch.