WELCH — The equivalent of an online dating service — a billboard on one of the numerous coaching websites — set the Welch girls up with a stiff Christmas holiday test.
WHS will face Kremlin-Hillsdale on Friday, Dec. 29 at the Tulsa Rogers field house.
“I had posted on one of the coaches’ websites that we were looking for a game since we had dropped Okay and couldn’t find anyone to pick that game up,” Welch girls’ coach Shawn Goodwin said.
“They actually had contacted me about playing before a Thunder game (in Oklahoma City). “Scheduling wise, we didn’t have an open date the same time as they did that also corresponded with the Thunder games.”
Goodwin reached out to Quapaw native Mick Wilson, who is the assistant superintendent at the Tulsa Public Schools, about playing in one of the TPS facilities.
“He got us into the Will Rogers gym,” Goodwin said.
The games will be at 1 and 2:30 p.m., he said.
The Lady Wildcats are 7-1, the lone setback coming against Wyandotte in the finals of the Kenneth Sooter Invitational.
Kremlin-Hillsdale carries a 4-6 record into the holiday break.
It dropped an 81-33 decision to Class B No. 1 Lomega on Dec. 19.
That allowed Lomega to avenge a 53-45 loss to the Lady Broncs in the Class B state championship game last March.
“They have moved up to Class A this year,” Goodwin said. “I know they have a new coach and probably a couple new faces, but they are still going to be a top ranked team.”
Goodwin said playing in the Rogers’ spacious gym would give the game a playoff atmosphere.
“You are going to be playing at a neutral site against a team you don’t see,” he said. “It will be a day game, and in couple weeks at NEO, we will be playing an early game (facing Tulsa Wright Christian at noon on Thursday, Jan. 18). It will benefit us, regardless of the outcome.”
Goodwin said the game will be beneficial in that it could open some eyes on the west side of the state about the quality of the Lady Cats.
“Maybe if we have a good showing, they will go back out west and tell teams out there that we can play a little bit and get us a little respect,” he said. “There just aren’t any Class A teams up here. Unless you go west or southwest, you aren’t even going to get a chance (for getting into the rankings).”
The Broncs (7-3) are 3-1 against ranked teams, including a pair of win against then No. 9 Lomega 52-51 in the fifth place game at the Pond Creek-Hunter tournament.
They followed that up with a 64-55 win over Lomega — which dropped to 18th — on Dec. 19.
The Broncs beat Class A No. 7 Ringwood 50-49 then three days later, dropped a 67-61 decision to Class B No. 13 Timberlake.
Welch improved to 3-5 with a 44-43 win over Foyil on Dec. 18.
Welch takes a couple days off before firing up the 2018 portion of the schedule with a Dec. 2 game at Bluejacket.
“Bluejacket is playing well,” Goodwin said. “It’s always tough to go there because of the atmosphere and the rivalry. We are stressing staying tuned up over the break so we don’t have any letdown coming out of it.”