By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The 2016-2017 boys' basketball season is far from over, but the Frontier Valley Conference is nearing the end of its competition as only three teams remain with a shot at the title. It's been an exciting year thus far with lots of parity and circular losses, living up to the FVC's reputation as one of the most competitive conferences in the state.
No. 1 Union (19-0 overall, 10-0 conference) is the clear favorite to win it all this season. The Redskins are the only undefeated team left in 6A, and one of only three undefeated teams in the state. In the past week they've defeated Sapulpa 79-61, Bixby 64-54, and Bartlesville 53-41. Mo Garcia scored 23 against the Chieftains, Ethan Chargois scored 23 against the Spartans, and the two scored 13 apiece against the Bruins.
The Redskins hold the No. 2 offense, No. 2 defense, and No. 1 margin of victory in the conference. All they need to do is win three out of four of their final games to clinch the title. They've already defeated Jenks 66-40, Broken Arrow 60-56, Bishop Kelley 65-42, and Owasso 62-39 thus far this season.
No. 10 Broken Arrow (14-5, 8-2) has the closest shot of snatching the title from Union, but to do so they'll need to win out, and they'll need Union to lose three games. Or, if Union loses to Broken Arrow and one other team, the Tigers can win on point-differential if they top the Redskins by five points or more.
The Tigers are on a four-game win streak after topping Owasso 53-46, Muskogee 50-47, Bartlesville 49-48, and Bixby 65-46. Tony Hall scored 16 against the Rams, while Caleb Huffman led in the three games after that with 23 against the Roughers, 16 against the Bruins, and 14 against the Spartans.
Broken Arrow holds the No. 6 offense, No. 1 defense, and No. 2 margin of victory in the conference. Of their four remaining opponents, they've already defeated Sand Springs 55-54 and Bishop Kelley 44-41, but they fell 60-56 to Union and 59-57 to Sapulpa.
No. 12 Sapulpa (12-4, 7-2) also has an outside shot at the title, and possibly a better shot than Broken Arrow. They're on a two-game winning streak, beating Owasso 77-73 and Jenks 54-52, after falling 79-61 to Union. Keenan Balance posted 28 against Union and Julian Smith did the same to Owasso.
With five games left, they're in the same boat as the Tigers. They need to win out, and they need Union to drop three. They currently hold the No. 1 offense, No. 9 defense, and No. 6 margin of victory in the conference. Of their remaining opponents, they've already defeated Bishop Kelley 60-50, and Broken Arrow 59-57. Their early season matchup at Bartlesville was rescheduled, so they'll finish the season with back-to-back games against the Bruins. They'll also need to avenge their 58-50 loss to Muskogee.
No. 8 Muskogee (12-5, 6-4) has fallen on hard times with three-straight losses and is officially out of the title picture. Something has happened to Muskogee's mojo and they've fallen 50-47 to Broken Arrow, who they had previously beaten, 56-52 to Bishop Kelley, and 74-64 to Owasso, who they had previously beaten. TyReece Berry posted 20 against the Tigers and 19 against the Comets, then Clarence Parks scored 21 against the Rams.
The Roughers still hold the No. 3 offense, No. 7 defense, and No. 3 margin of victory in the FVC. Of their remaining opponents, they've already beaten Bixby 65-63, Sapulpa 58-50, and Jenks 85-59.
No. 17 Bartlesville (9-9, 4-5) picked up a a 56-45 win over Jenks last week, but fell 49-48 to Broken Arrow and 53-41 to Union this week. Barron Tanner led in all three games with 23, 17, and 25 points, respectively.
The Bruins hold the No. 9 offense, No. 4 defense, and No. 7 margin of victory in the FVC. Of their remaining opponents they've already defeated Owasso 47-42, and Sand Springs 53-39 and 63-53. They'll need to avenge a 76-68 overtime loss to Bixby, and they'll finish with back-to-back games against Sapulpa, who they have yet to face this season.
No. 15 Owasso (11-8, 4-6) split wins this past week, falling 77-73 to Sapulpa, but upsetting Muskogee 74-64. Jake Thompson posted 26 against the Chieftains, while Courtre Alexander led with 25 against the Roughers.
The Rams hold the No. 4 offense, No. 6 defense, and No. 4 margin of victory in the FVC. Of their remaining opponents, they've already defeated Jenks 66-52, but they'll need payback wins against the other three. They fell 47-42 to Bartlesville, 59-57 to Bishop Kelley, and 62-39 to Union.
Sand Springs (9-10, 3-7) has picked up back-to-back conference wins for the first time this season, topping Jenks 51-44 and Bishop Kelley 46-43. Colt Savage led in both games with 19 against the Trojans and 21 against the Comets.
The Sandites hold the No. 5 offense, No. 5 defense, and No. 5 margin of victory in the conference. Of their remaining opponents, they've already defeated Bixby 76-61, but they'll need payback wins against Bartlesville and Broken Arrow. The Tigers trumped the Sandites 55-54, and the Bruins won 53-39 and 63-53.
Bixby (8-11, 3-7) is riding back-to-back losses after falling 64-54 to Union and 65-46 to Broken Arrow. Joey Homan scored 19 against the Redskins, while Will Fiser posted 20 against the Tigers.
The Spartans hold the No. 8 offense, No. 8 defense, and No. 9 margin of victory in the conference. Of their remaining opponents, they've already defeated Jenks 49-36 and Bartlesville 76-68, but they'll need payback wins against Muskogee and Sand Springs. The Roughers won 65-63 and the Sandites prevailed 76-71.
5A No. 17 Bishop Kelley (7-11, 3-7) picked up a huge 56-52 upset of Muskogee, but fell 46-43 to Sand Springs. Alex Woodruff led in both games with 18 against the Roughers and 11 against the Sandites.
The Comets hold the No. 10 offense, No. 3 defense, and No. 8 margin of victory in the conference. Of their remaining opponents, they've already defeated Owasso 59-57, but they fell 60-50 to Sapulpa, 65-42 to Union, and 44-41 to Broken Arrow.
Jenks (3-13, 1-9) has had an off year, but still has the bones to finish on a strong note. This past week they fell 51-44 to Sand Springs and 54-52 to Sapulpa. Ananias Carson posted 12 against the Sandites.
The Trojans hold the No. 7 offense, No. 10 defense, and No. 10 margin of victory in the conference. Of their remaining opponents, they've fallen 66-40 to Union, 49-36 to Bixby, 66-52 to Owasso, and 85-59 to Muskogee.
Remaining Conference Schedule
2/6 Muskogee @ Bixby
2/7 Sand Springs @ Broken Arrow
2/7 Bartlesville @ Owasso
2/7 Bishop Kelley @ Sapulpa
2/7 Jenks @ Union
2/10 Union @ Broken Arrow
2/10 Bartlesville @ Sand Springs
2/10 Jenks @ Bixby
2/10 Owasso @ Bishop Kelley
2/10 Sapulpa @ Muskogee
2/14 Sapulpa @ Broken Arrow
2/14 Bixby @ Bartlesville
2/14 Union @ Bishop Kelley
2/14 Owasso @ Jenks
2/17 Bishop Kelley @ Broken Arrow
2/17 Bartlesville @ Sapulpa
2/17 Sand Springs @ Bixby
2/17 Jenks @ Muskogee
2/17 Union @ Owasso
2/20 Sapulpa @ Bartlesville
- Central Oklahoma (48)
- Green Country (47.66)
- Big Ten (47.6)
- Frontier Valley (45.7)
- All-City (30.09)
FVC Leading Scorers
- Colt Savage (Sand Springs) 22.5
- Keenan Balance (Sapulpa) 21.3
- Ethan Chargois (Union) 18.8
- Brooks Haddock (Muskogee) 18.4
- Julian Smith (Sapulpa) 18.1
- TyReece Berry (Muskogee) 17.4
- Caleb Huffman (Broken Arrow) 16.9
- Josh Proctor (Owasso) 16.4
- Kyle Keener (Sand Springs) 15.8
- Barron Tanner (Bartlesville) 15.2