AFTON — The No. 11 Afton girls have put last season’s early playoff demise in the distant background.
They’re concentrating on the 2009 playoffs, which begin here tonight against.
The Watts and Oaks girls square off at 6:30 p.m. today in the Class A Area III District 6 tournament.
The boys’ teams from the two schools tangle at 8 p.m.
The winners advance to play Afton on Saturday, the girls at 6:30 and the boys at 8 p.m.
Seniors at Afton will be recognized at 5:45 p.m. Saturday.
“I feel confident,” Afton girls’ coach Gerald Sergeant said. “I think we’re ready.”
Also tonight, the Welch girls face South Coffeyville at 6:30 p.m. in the Area I District 7 tournament at Barnsdall.
The South Coffeyville and Barnsdall boys play at 8 p.m.
Tonight’s winners move on to play the Barnsdall girls and Welch boys in Saturday’s title games.
Play in the Class B Area III District 2 tournament at White Oak got started Thursday night.
Bluejacket’s girls were eliminated with a 63-27 loss to Bartlesville Wesleyan Christian. White Oak topped Wynona 51-37 in the nightcap.
In boys’ games tonight, it’s Bartlesville Wesleyan vs. Wynona at 6:30 p.m. and Bluejacket vs. White Oak at 8 p.m.
The winners play Saturday night.
The Lady Eagles crushed Fairland 70-34 to win their Class 2A district last year, then topped Ketchum 53-31 in sub-regional play.
Things got dicey after that — Stroud held on for a 55-51 victory in the regional finals then Lucky 7 Conference rival Quapaw pulled off a 27-23 upset in an Area III elimination game.
“That is long gone,” said Afton coach Gerald Sergeant.
“We don’t think a thing about last year because that was a different class and different people. This is a new situation.”
Top-ranked Preston (20-3), No. 4 Okarche (21-2) and No. 13 Kiefer (18-1) are all in the Area III field along with the Lady Eagles.
Afton and Preston would meet in the regional final at Preston if each get by the first round and then their opening game next Thursday in the regional tournament.
The Lady Eagles (19-2), who have battled numerous ankle injuries throughout the season have been idle since Feb. 3, when they beat Commerce 54-38 to wrap up their fourth straight Lucky 7 Conference title.
“We’ve had to fight through it,” Sergeant said. “We’re wrapping six girls right. We’re going through tape like you can’t believe.”
Afton’s two losses have come by a total of five points.
They lost to 3A No. 3 Kansas 66-64 in the finals of the Afton Coca-Cola Classic in December and to Class A No. 17 Frontier 48-45 in the finals of the Mike Kerr Classic last month at Morrison.