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Boys basketball update: Player-of-the-week Te'Zohn Taft leads Sapulpa to Lincoln title; Owasso prevails against at Skiatook

Boys basketball update: Player-of-the-week Te'Zohn Taft leads Sapulpa to Lincoln title; Owasso prevails against at Skiatook

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Player of the week

Te'Zohn Taft • Sapulpa • 5-10 • Sr.

Taft scored 69 points as he led the Chieftains to a 4-0 week. He was the Lincoln Christian Invitational most valuable player with 48 points in three games, including a high of 22 in the semifinals, and he averaged eight assists and six steals. For the season, he is scoring 18 points per game.

Players to watch

Nate Beitel, Regent Prep: The 6-4 junior guard had 83 points, 17 steals, 13 assists and 13 rebounds in four wins last week and helped the Rams win the Regent Invitational. An outstanding shooter and passer, he is averaging 17.7 points this season.

Jaden Cool, Holland Hall: A 6-3 sophomore guard, he leads the 4A No. 3 Dutch scorers at 15 points per game.

Tyler Day, Mannford: The 5-10 junior point-guard has led the Pirates' 6-3 start as he averages 15 points, 6 assists and 6 rebounds per game. Named to the Stroud Invitational all-tournament team -- he had 17 points with five steals in a 57-48 win over Cushing in the consolation final.

Marlo Fox, Sand Springs: The 5-11 senior guard is averaging 19.4 points this season after producing 17.4 points last year to help the Sandites qualify for the 6A state tournament.

Ty Frierson, Memorial: In the recent Festival of Champions, the 5-11 junior guard had 37 points and 10 assists in two games. For the season, he is averaging a team-high 16 points and 6 assists.

Kyler Kauk, Cleveland: The 6-foot junior guard averages 16 points and 5 rebounds per game after producing similar numbers last season.

Isaiah Sanders, Webster: The 5-10 senior guard averages 19.5 points and 3.5 rebounds. Shoots 60% on 2s and 76% on free throws. Scored 30 in the season opener against Jenks and 22 against Star Spencer in the Skiatook Invitational third-place win.

NEWS AND NOTES

Sapulpa wins Lincoln Invitational

Sixth-ranked Class 5A Sapulpa will carry a five-game winning streak into  Tuesday's Highway 97 rivalry game at 17th-ranked Sand Springs.

The Chieftains swept four games last week and captured the Lincoln Christian Invitational.

Te'Zohn Taft was the most valuable player with 48 points, 24 assists and 18 steals in three games.

"He's the best athlete in the state," Sapulpa coach Rickey Bruner said. "He's so good in football, that people forget how good he is as a basketball player. He's the ultimate leader and makes everyone better. Fresno State and Alabama State have called about him for basketball, adding to the options he already has in football."

Jackson Skipper, a 6-7 senior, also had an impressive tournament. Skipper had 30 points and 11 rebounds in the quarterfinals against Jay. In an 83-73 win over Edison in the title game, Skipper had 14 points and 12 rebounds, For the season, he is averaging 18 points per game.

"He can do it all on the court," Bruner said. "He can shoot it and take it to the rack."

Other Sapulpa standouts in the tournament included guards Mason Dement and Brandon Niyah.

"We're deep, we play 12-to-13 every game," Bruner said. "We come at people in waves. Our defensive pressure carries us. We played really well as a group in the tournament and we're starting to jell.

"I've got the same type of feeling about this team as I did about our state tournament team two years. This is a fun group."

It was Sapulpa's second win over No. 13 Edison this season.

"When Sapulpa smells blood, they really swarm," Edison coach Michael Parish said. "They have so many athletes. They are strong, they are fast. We ran into a buzz saw. They are really good."

Good week for Edison

Despite an 83-73 loss to Sapulpa in the Lincoln Christian final, "the Edison Eagles had a good week," Edison coach Michael Parish said.

The loss snapped the Eagles' four-game winning streak. Parish attributed a 1-3 start to the team being quarantined for 14 days in November.

"When you come back together, it's like starting over," Parish said. "We're just trying to get better over time."

Eagles standouts include Xavier Williams, a 5-10 senior guard, and Iman Oates.

"Xavier is a great leader and has been amazing for us," Parish said. "Iman is 6-2 and 300 pounds, and has great moves -- he can move like a ballerina."

Parish said a turning point for his team was a 68-50 loss to Mustang in the Bishop Kelley Invitational when he benched his starters after falling behind 25 points.

"The junior varsity played the rest of the game, got the score back under 20 and was really good," Parish said. "And then we won the next day. That set a tone.

"We have a good foundation on knowing who we are and what we need to do to win."

Owasso's Skiatook success continues

Owasso is the Skiatook Invitational champion for the seventh time in the past 10 years after a 50-46 overtime victory over Broken Arrow in the title game Saturday.

"Hats off to Skiatook for putting on the tournament," Owasso coach Brian Montonati said. "They do things right. It's a special place that we always circle on our calendar."

The 6A No. 8 Rams (5-1) won their three games by a combined total of nine points.

Trenton Ellison and B.J. Armstrong both finished in double figures for Owasso, with 16 and 12 points, respectively. Kyler Mann was selected as the tournament MVP and teammate BJ Armstrong also was an all-tournament selection.

Jaiell Talley paced Broken Arrow with 16 points and also made the all tournament team.

The Rams came from behind in their first two games in Skiatook and did so again in the final. They trailed 32-26 after three periods, but stormed back to go up 42-41 on a pair of Ellison free throws with one minute left in regulation.

Tyler Pinder's 3-pointer put the Tigers back in front 44-42 with 33 seconds remaining. Ellison, however, responded as he got a steal and then made two more free throws with 10.8 seconds left in regulation.

The Owasso defense got a stop to send things to the extra frame. Armstrong broke a 46-46 tie when he buried a pair of free throws with 42.5 seconds left.

The Rams then forced another turnover and Mann scored on put-back with 20 seconds remaining.

"I was proud of the way our guys played,” Montonati said. "We are still trying to find our rhythm and flow on offense. One thing that always gives us a chance is our defense."

BOYS RANKINGS

OSSAArankings.com coaches’ polls, first-place votes in parentheses, record as of Jan. 10, followed by voting points.

Class 6A

1. Edmond North (22) 7-1, 568; 2. Edmond Memorial (7) 7-1, 542; 3. Putnam West 8-3 510; 4. Putnam North 5-2, 480; 5. Norman North (1) 7-2, 466; 6 Choctaw 5-2, 424; 7. Del City 6-4, 413; 8. Owasso 5-1, 402; 9. Bixby (1) 8-1, 346; 10. Midwest City 5-3, 343; 11. Union 6-3, 326; 12. Moore 6-2, 299; 13. Jenks 4-3, 250; 14. Edmond Santa Fe 5-4, 242; 15. Broken Arrow 5-4, 191.

Class 5A

1. MWC Carl Albert (13) 9-1, 465; 2. Memorial (8) 8-2, 458; 3. Lawton MacArthur (5) 8-2, 428; 4. Shawnee 7-2, 395; 5. Bishop Kelley 5-3, 361; 6. Sapulpa 7-3, 345; 7. Glenpool 5-1, 310; 8. Claremore 5-1, 285; 9. Rogers 6-3, 295; 10. El Reno 4-2, 285; 11. OKC McGuinness 6-5, 258; 12. Coweta 4-2 222; 13. Edison 5-4, 216; 14. Noble 6-3, 205; 15. Pryor 5-3, 154.

Class 4A

1. Kingfisher (50) 9-1, 960; 2. OKC Heritage Hall (2) 6-2, 912; 3. Webster 8-3, 850; 4. Victory Christian 7-1, 788; 5. Tuttle 8-1, 731; 6. Ada 7-3, 701; 7. Mt. St. Mary 8-0, 696; 8. Holland Hall 4-2, 602; 9. Classen SAS 3-1, 432; 10. Elgin 7-3, 401; 11, Weatherford 7-2, 381; 12. Broken Bow 7-3, 375; 13. Verdigris 7-1, 322; 14. Blanchard 7-3, 320; 15. OKC Marshall 3-4, 303.

Class 3A

1. OKC Millwood (16) 7-2, 807; 2. Crossings Christian (9) 10-1, 802; 3. Hugo (12) 11-0, 786; 4. Community Christian (7) 8-1, 691; 5. Christian Heritage (2) 7-1; 6. Adair 6-2, 648; 7. Beggs 0-2, 555; 8. Star Spencer 2-4, 517; 9. Roland 6-4, 416; 10. Eufaula 2-1, 386; 11. Metro Christian 2-2, 380; 12. North Rock Creek 8-1, 364; 13. Prague 8-2, 319; 14. Keys 5-1, 249; 15. Bethel 5-3, 239.

Class 2A

1. Dale (46) 8-0, 1,051; 2. Hooker (5) 10-0, 835; 3. Pawnee (1) 7-0, 784; 4. Okla. Union (4) 10-0, 880; 5. Cashion 9-1, 873; 6. Hennessey 6-1, 746; 7 (tie). Howe (1) 8-2, 657 and Minco 6-4, 657; 9. Pawhuska 4-1, 472; 10. Amber-Pocasset 9-2, 543; 11. Nowata 7-1, 514; 12. Silo 8-4, 489; 13. Hulbert 4-0, 389; 14. Wewoka 4-3, 385; 15. Okla. Christian Academy 8-2, 347.

Class A

1. Fort Cobb-Broxton (27) 5-0, 1,035; 2. Hydro-Eakly (21) 10-0, 1,032; 3. Arapaho-Butler (7) 11-0, 924; 4. Garber (4) 7-3, 909; 5. Calumet (1) 10-0, 890; 6. Stuart 9-1, 722; 7. Caddo 8-0, 680; 8. Vanoss 9-2, 660; 9. Canute 10-1, 628; 10. Velma-Alma 7-2, 619; 11. Snyder 8-1, 441; 12. Vici 8-3, 372; 13. Regent Prep 7-1, 359; 14. Seiling 8-2, 335; 15. Wright City 9-4, 244.

Class B

1. Varnum (50) 11-0, 1,201; 2. Roff (9) 12-0, 1,131; 3, Duke (2) 7-0, 1,007; 4, Lomega (2) 9-1, 993; 5, Red Oak 10-0, 959; 6, Leedey (2) 10-1, 802; 7, Kinta 9-2, 709; 8. Battiest (1) 11-3, 612; 9, Cyril (1) 7-3, 514; 10. Earlsboro 5-3, 511; 11. Whitesboro 7-3, 479; 12. Butner 9-4, 461; 13. Big Pasture 8-4, 419; 14. Tyrone (1) 2-3, 353; 15, Sasakwa 4-0, 324.

-- Jon Potts, for the Tulsa World, contributed to this report

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