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SBLive Oklahoma Top 25 girls basketball rankings: 4A contender Lincoln Christian surges near the top

Bixby also making a run; Class 5A Piedmont debuts in this week's rankings
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By Ty Loftis 

Photo of Lincoln Christian against Bixby by Christian Potts

As the playoff season nears, Classes 5A and 6A have been split up into east and west divisions. Here, we take a look at how the SBLive Oklahoma Top 25 girls basketball rankings stand as we move into February.

Note: Rankings and records are from games through Feb. 4.

1. Edmond North

The Lady Huskies remain an unquestioned number, as they continue to dominate, moving to 18-0 on the year after a 78-31 win against Westmoore on Friday. They have beaten state championship contenders Edmond Memorial and Bixby earlier this year en route to a perfect record.

Edmond North has only played three games in the past two weeks, but one of those was against a ranked Norman team and the Lady Huskies rolled to a 59-35 win. The other was a 78-20 win at Southmoore.

Edmond North has won the Bixby Invitational, Mustang Holiday Classic and Putnam City Invitational. The Lady Huskies have the talent to win it all, and it all starts with Laci Steele and Elle Papahronis.

2. Edmond Memorial

After getting out to a 3-2 start, Edmond Memorial has found its winning ways by getting 12 straight victories. In those 12 wins, the Lady Bulldogs have only had two games decided by single digits.

The Lady Bulldogs will have a true test to end the season, as they have back-to-back games with Edmond North and Norman next week. The play of sophomore guard Avery Hjelmstad could determine if the Lady Bulldogs are able to go from title contention to title frontrunner.

3. Sapulpa

Appearing as the first Class 5A school are the Sapulpa Lady Chieftains, who stand at 16-1 on the year. Since starting the second half of the season, the Lady Chieftains have had wins against Lincoln Christian, Bixby, Booker T. Washington and most recently, a narrow win against Broken Arrow.

Their lone loss was against a Lincoln Christian team at the Tournament of Champions in Oklahoma, but they got revenge via a seven-point win at the Lincoln Christian Invitational. A recent game against Bixby was canceled, but the Lady Chieftains are scheduled to play them again next week.

Sisters Tyla and Stailee Heard will be the key for how Sapulpa carries itself as the year rolls along.

4. Lincoln Christian

After an impressive win against a solid Jones team, Lincoln Christian has moved up another spot in this week’s poll and is the first Class 4A team to appear.

The Lady Bulldogs likely have the most impressive resume on this list, having wins against Bixby, Sapulpa, Will Rogers and Norman. Lincoln Christian’s lone loss came in a rematch against Sapulpa a week after beating them at the Tournament of Champions.

Since that loss to the Lady Chieftains, Lincoln Christian has won seven straight and won by 17 points or more each time. With Maddi Stewart, Jordan Faulkner and Adyson Roberts playing at full strength, Lincoln Christian will be a favorite to win the Class 4A title.

5. Putnam City West

The Lady Patriots had a stretch in mid-January where they had 17 days off, but PC West has finally gotten back in a rhythm. They have played Ponca City, Midwest City and Choctaw, and won those games by a combined 70 points, improving to 15-3 on the year.

Two of their losses have come against out of state competition and the other was against top ranked Edmond North. Two wins against Choctaw and a victory against PC North are the notable wins PC West was looking for heading into the final month of the regular season.

Sophomore Jazzlin Brown will be expected to be a key contributor.

6. Bixby

As some teams do, the Lady Spartans went through a little bit of a lull, losing five of eight games in late December going into January. Since then, Bixby has won five straight. In those games, they have won by 25 points or more each time.

If the Lady Spartans can play with that intensity for the rest of the year, expect them to be a force to be reckoned with.

Bixby will have a true test in the final week of the regular season when they have back-to-back road trips to Sapulpa and Booker T. Washington. With Gracy and Kate Wernli at the helm, along with Gentry Baldwin, it is expected that the Lady Spartans will be in title contention.

7. Bethany

The Lady Bronchos remain one of the top title contenders in Class 4A. After suffering their first loss of the season to Tuttle in mid-January, the Lady Bronchos have responded by rolling over top 25 competition in Weatherford and Kingfisher.

Bethany most recently has wins against Elgin and Crossings Christian, winning by a combined score of 154-50. They were also crowned champions of the Kiefer Tournament by beating the host team, 83-42.

8. Midwest City

Midwest City had a busy week and went 2-1 in the process, dropping to 16-4 on the year and dropping one spot in this week’s poll. The Lady Bombers lone loss in that span came against fifth ranked PC West, but Midwest City rebounded with convincing wins against Putnam City and PC North.

Midwest City will have a chance to get revenge over Putnam City West in the final game of the regular season.

9. Tulsa Booker T. Washington

After suffering two consecutive losses, the Lady Hornets rebounded with a 13-point win against Union last week. Their two recent losses have come against Midwest City in the championship game of the John Nobles Invitational and at Sapulpa.

10. Tuttle

Tuttle is one of three Class 4A teams to crack the top 10 in this week’s poll in what is sure to be an exciting battle for the gold ball. The Lady Tigers have improved to 18-2 after hard-fought wins against Cache and Anadarko last week.

Heading into the Class 4A state tournament, Tuttle will be battle-tested, having played the likes of Kingfisher, Carl Albert, Midwest City, Bethany and Weatherford. Expect Ally Rehl and Oklahoma signee Landry Allen to carry the weight for the Lady Tigers as the year goes along.

11. Midwest City Carl Albert

The Lady Titans recently lost two straight, suffering narrow losses to Edmond Memorial in the championship game of the Titan Classic and a loss to a solid Piedmont team.

Carl Albert did respond on Friday with a 22-point win against Guthrie.

12. Norman

The Lady Tigers have improved to 13-4 on the year after a 65-40 win against Yukon last week. Norman has won three straight following their loss to top-ranked Edmond North.

13. Dale

Showing up as the first Class 2A school this week is Dale. The Lady Pirates lost their first game of the year to Preston, but haven’t lost since.

The Lady Pirates have won all but two of their games by double digits this year.

14. Tahlequah

The Lady Tigers lost their second game of the year two weeks ago after failing to beat the host team of the Titan Classic in Carl Albert. Tahlequah has bounced back since then, winning all three games by double digits.

A win against Glenpool gave the Lady Tigers a third-place finish at the Titan Classic. Those two teams squared off again last week, and Tahlequah came away with another win.

15. Washington

Coming in as the first Class 3A school in this week’s poll are the Lady Warriors, and they remain one of three undefeated teams across the state.

The Lady Warriors don’t have a notable win on their schedule yet, and won’t be able to until the state tournament. With that being said though, they only have two games decided by single digits.

16. Holland Hall

The Lady Dutch have now won 10 straight games to remain inside the top 25 for the third consecutive week. Holland Hall has yet to win against a team that is ranked inside the top 25 and has only played a single team in the top 25, that being a four-point loss to Norman.

Holland Hall will have a chance to prove themselves against Lincoln Christian in the final game of the regular season.

17. Bethel

The Lady Wildcats are the second Class 3A squad in this week’s top 25 poll.

Their 17-3 record is marred with losses to Dale and Caddo, but they are also 6-0 against Class 4A competition and higher. The Lady Wildcats most recently have wins against Little Axe, Wewoka and Tecumseh.

18. Amber-Pocasset

Amber-Pocasset hasn’t played since January 21st and they are 18-1 for a second consecutive week, as their last three games have been canceled due to severe weather.

The Lady Panthers have the lone loss to Dale in November and aside from that, they have won 16 of 18 games by double digits. They have won both the Velma-Alma and the Grady County Tournament.

19. El Reno

The Lady Indians were recently scheduled to play a top 25 team in Kingfisher, but that was postponed due to weather. After a 54-38 win against Noble, El Reno has improved to 13-3 on the year, with the three losses coming by a combined 10 points.

20. Choctaw

The Lady Jackets have lost five of their past 10 games, but fans shouldn’t be too alarmed as each loss has came against top 25 competition. 

Choctaw hosts Midwest City next week, giving the Lady Jackets a chance to get some momentum heading into the postseason.

21. Weatherford

After getting a 37-31 win against Kingfisher, the Lady Eagles are back in the top 25 this week. That win improved Weatherford to 16-3 on the year.

In the six-point win, Jordan Hoffman scored her 1,000th career point.

The Lady Eagles have a difficult game with Tuttle this week before playoff basketball starts later this month.

22. Seiling

Seiling is proving that they may very well be the team to beat in Class A, having won 12 straight. The Lady Wildcats’ lone loss of the year is a 13-point loss against Edmond North.

They just faced a difficult Lomega team last Friday and won that game with ease, 69-41.

23. Pittsburg

Pittsburg sits at 20-4 on the year, but all four losses come against teams in higher classifications. Two of those schools made an appearance in this week’s top 25.

They have good early-season wins against a solid Class 2A Preston team and a Class B squad in Varnum. All but one of their wins comes by double digits.

24. South Coffeyville

Staying in the top 25 for a second consecutive week is South Coffeyville. They are one of the three remaining undefeated teams left in girls high school basketball.

With that being said, they haven’t had the opportunity to play anybody and won’t be able to prove themselves until Class B tournament play begins later this month.

Only one of their 18 wins have been decided by single digits.

25. Piedmont

Making a debut in this week’s top 25 is Piedmont. While their record of 14-6 isn’t the most impressive, they have won six of their last seven and three of their losses have come against top 25 competition.

With senior Jillian Crawford leading the Lady Wildcats, it is possible they could challenge for a Class 5A gold ball.