By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The Charles Page High School boys are still trying to find their place in the rankings.
They started the season hot with a 7-straight win streak and outscored their opponents by an average of 73-49 to earn the #10 rank in 6A before falling to then-undefeated 5A #1 Carl Albert.
From there, things went awry. They lost to Union and Owasso, both of which were ranked higher and not completely unforeseeable. But the big twist came in a 53-48 upset by #20 Jenks.
From 7-straight wins to 4-straight losses, it was unclear where the disconnect was. It's not the coaching. Third-year Head Coach Eric Savage has three State Championships to his name to prove that. And it's not the athletes either. Three of our starters average double digit scoring in every game, and Kyle Keener is ranked #25 by the Tulsa World in top rebounders of all classes.
It's no secret that both wins and losses can snowball, so is that all it is? A head problem? We'll have to wait and see.
The Sandites officially snapped that losing streak with a 57-53 win over conference foe Bishop Kelley, then briefly returned to their scoring onslaught with wins of 72-45 and 74-31 over Nathan Hale and Field Kindley, respectively, at the Coffeyville Interstate Classic. Kansas private school Bishop Miege beat out the Sandites 60-50 in the Interstate Championship game, but last week the boys rebounded with a 73-56 domination of Broken Arrow to bring their record to 11-5.
Will the boys return to piling on impressive wins? Their next test will be against Frontier Valley foe #19 Bartlesville (8-8, 2-5). Theoretically it should be a semi-easy win. This has been a strange season for the conference, however. #14 Sapulpa has a win over #6 Union. #20 Bixby has a win over #7 Owasso. #18 Jenks has wins over Sapulpa and Sand Springs, and unranked Broken Arrow has a win over Bartlesville.
Four of the conference's ten teams are tied with 4-3 records. Owasso (6-1) and Union (5-2) are the conference leaders, then Jenks (4-3) due to their upset of Sand Spring (4-3) who in turn has defeated Sapulpa (4-3). Neither Sapulpa nor Sand Springs have played Muskogee (4-3) yet.
With only three weeks of regular season play left, the Sandites are cutting it close; but with rematches scheduled against Union, Owasso, and Jenks, there's still time for a come-from-behind Conference Championship. Anyone who's seen these boys play knows they have it in them.
Friday night's Bartlesville games will be held at home at the Ed Dubie Field House, with junior varsity beginning at 4:00 p.m. and varsity girls at 6:00 pm.