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By Buck Ringgold

Wins were hard to come by for Collinsville last season.

After having won 17 games in the 2018-19 season and 18 the following season, the Cardinals slumped to a 6-11 finish in 2020-21. This season, though, they have doubled their win total and are finding ways to win the games they lost the season before.

Collinsville has already doubled its win total from 2020-21, moving to 12-2 after outlasting Tahlequah in overtime on Tuesday, 66-56, as the Cardinals also improved to 8-0 in the Metro Lakes Conference. It also broke a six-game winning streak the Tigers had brought into that game.

The Cardinals now have a win streak of their own, four straight, all against ranked foes. Included in that stretch was a 52-51 win against a highly ranked 5A Coweta squad on Jan. 11.

Collinsville began the season with a 49-47 win at Tahlequah on Nov. 30 and a 61-57 overtime win against Pryor on Dec. 3.

"I've been extremely pleased with them and their effort on the court, and just their competitiveness in those close games," Collinsville coach Todd Anderson said. "We're kind of winning games this year that we lost last year because of inexperience and COVID and everything, so it's been pretty good to see them learn and get over the hump in those close games.

"I think going through what they went through last year, they didn't want to go through that again, and so they're putting more on the line in those close games and really competing at a high level."

The Cardinals have also gotten a confidence boost from the school's football team, which won its first-ever state title in December.

"We've got three guys that played on that team, and just attitude in practice of course helps," Anderson said. "Those three come in with a lot of confidence, but I think our guys overall, coming into the season and going through our scrimmages, they put in the work and we're pretty confident coming into the year anyway."

In Tuesday's win, senior guard Jacob Scyrkels had 28 points. He had 23 of those after halftime, when the Cardinals trailed, 29-21.

Scyrkels also had a double-double in the win against Coweta, with 21 points and 10 rebounds. He had 38 points in the first game of the Cards' current win streak, a 79-57 win against Tulsa Edison in the third place game of the Lincoln Christian Winter Classic.

"He's just really come along just the way he's scoring. ... He also made a lot of good plays down the stretch (Tuesday)," Anderson said.

The Cardinals are now off until next Tuesday, when they travel to face Pryor.

Del City

The Eagles continue their high-flying ways of late.

They picked up their ninth straight win on Tuesday, prevailing at rival Midwest City, 50-41.

"I like how they handled playing on the road in a tough environment; they didn't panic when we got down versus a solid, well-coached team," Del City coach Lenny Hatchett said. "It's always a tough game when Del City and Midwest City meet up."

That current nine-game win streak started with the first-place finish at the Tournament of Champions in Tulsa, beating Jenks and Tulsa Memorial along the way, and continued with winning the championship at the Bishop McGuinness Classic.

"The team has been really coming together; chemistry is clicking and players are coming in daily challenging each other," Hatchett said. "After winning the ToC and competing in the McGuinness Classic and finding a way to win it really helped our confidence and our team's identity."

In Tuesday's win, the Eagles (12-3) got 15 points each from Percy Green and Terry McMorris.

Del City returns to action on Tuesday as the Eagles travel to Piedmont.

Edmond North

Another team that is hitting its stride are the Huskies. After starting the season 4-3, Edmond North has reeled off seven straight wins, including a 49-44 triumph at Norman on Tuesday as well as a 51-35 win against Glenpool Thursday in the opening round of the Carl Albert Tournament in Midwest City.

"We have been very consistent so far," North coach Scott Norris said. "We definitely have played a tough schedule so far. We are very young, so every experience is a good one for our team.

"We have played well the last two weeks and can play better going forward."

Leading North during its win streak are a combination of post players, Dylan Warlick and Bryce Potts. Warlick has averaged 22 points and 12 rebounds, while Potts has averaged 10 points and five boards.

"They're a very good combo of post players," Norris said. "Both are very physical and tough for opponents to defend."

The Huskies' last loss came on Jan. 4, a 76-74 defeat at Mustang. They also lost twice to crosstown rival Edmond Memorial, one of those coming in overtime.

North raised its overall record to 11-3 following Thursday's win.