The Wyandotte boys face their stiffest test of the still-young season tonight when they tackle Jay in a semifinal game at the 16th annual Adair Invitational.
The Bears are one of eight teams from the area who are in action tonight with an eye on moving into championship games.
Others playing in semifinal games tonight are:
4 Miami, which battles Collinsville in the Sperry Invitational;
4 The Welch boys and girls and Commerce girls, who are playing in the fifth Kenneth Sooter Invitational, and
4 The Afton boys and girls and Quapaw girls, who are in the Afton Coca-Cola Classic.
The Bears eked out a 62-58 victory over Claremore Sequoyah in their first-round game on Monday.
Zack Butterfield downed two free throws with nine seconds left to stake Wyandotte to what would be the final four-point margin of victory.
The teams had been tied at 51 just moments earlier.
The Bulldogs opened the season with lopsided Verdigris Valley Conference losses to Miami (61-41) and Vinita (72-53), but bounced back with a 75-34 romp over Okay in the first round at Adair on Monday.
“They are pretty good — they’re the best team we’ve played,” Wyandotte coach Paul Duncan said. “Their pressure will be tough for us to handle. We’ve seen a zone press, but not a full court man.”
The winner moves on to face either Westville or Caney Valley in Saturday’s championship game.
Miami’s boys improved to 2-0 with their 53-26 win against Bristow, which had beaten the Wardogs in the first round last year.
MHS jumped out to an 11-0 lead and never looked back.
“I think our chemistry is really good,” Miami coach Rusty Mercer said. “There are a lot of areas where we can improve and still get better. But 2-0 is a good sign.”
Collinsville held off Sperry for a 53-45 victory Tuesday night.
Sperry had pulled to within four points with 2 minutes left but went 1-for-9 from the field down the stretch.
Adam Harrell, a 6-2 senior, had a team-high 14 points and Colton Overholt came off the bench to add 12.
“They are really good,” Mercer said. “This is the best Collinsville team I’ve seen. They have a number of kids in the starting lineup and coming off the bench who are very athletic. I think they get scoring from seven guys.
“They play similar to us in that they get up and down and change a lot of defenses. They may be a bigger version of us.”
When the Quapaw and Afton girls square off tonight at 7 p.m., that will be the seventh time the teams have played since about this time a year ago.
Afton won the first four encounters last year, but Quapaw ambushed the Lady Eagles in the area tournament last February.
The Kansas girls, who face Oklahoma Union in today’s other semifinal contest, have won three of the last four tournament titles.
Afton’s boys are shooting for a fourth straight appearance in the finals of their own tournament. They’ve won it once (2006) and have finished second twice during that span.
The Eagles own four Classic championships overall (1993, 1997, 2001 and’06).