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Potential showdown between top girls basketball teams highlights Jenks-Union Invitational Tournament field

Edmond North, Putnam City West top two girls' seeds; Crossings Christian boys ones to watch

Edmond North and Putnam City West have somehow avoided each other all season.

Despite both girls basketball programs being known for traveling anywhere at any time to get in a good game, the top two teams in the state have yet to face off on the hardwood this season.

However, that could all change this weekend. The Lady Huskies and Lady Patriots are the top two seeds in the Jenks-Union Invitational Tournament, which starts Thursday.

Two-time 6A defending champion Edmond North (9-0) sits in the bottom portion of the bracket and will play its games at Frank Herald Fieldhouse on the Jenks High School campus. Putnam City West (13-0) resides in the top half of the bracket and will play its contests at Tulsa Union's Multipurpose Activity Center (UMAC).

The only way the two powerhouses would meet is if both made it to the tournament championship Saturday or both lost along the way and had to face off in the consolation round.

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The last time the Huskies and Patriots met was in the semifinals of the 2023 6A state tournament. North prevailed, 45-42, in what was their closest game of the year en route to repeating as 6A state champions.

But while the Huskies lost much of the firepower from that squad, the Patriots returned almost their entire team.

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However, even though both teams have remained undefeated this season, there is no guarantee they will make it to the tournament finale. Several teams are looking to be the first program to hand either North or West their first defeat.

The rest of the field includes host schools Union (6-5) and Jenks (8-2), along with Glenpool (10-1), Independent School, Jenks JV and KIPP (12-5), a charter prep school based in Tulsa.

The girls' tournament championship is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday at UMAC.

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While the girls' bracket appears to be top-heavy, it’s a little more balanced on the boys' side of the Jenks-Union Invitational Tournament.

Along with hosts Union (10-2) and Jenks (9-3), the field includes Crossings Christian (9-2), Glenpool (6-5), Bartlesville (2-9) and Sand Springs (8-3).

Also on hand is Raymore–Peculiar (5-7), a program out of Missouri.

The top threat to break up a meeting between the Redhawks and Trojans could be Crossings Christian. The 5A squad’s only two defeats this year came against a pair of defending champions in Edmond North and Dale.

On Thursday, the Knights will face Independent School in the opening round and would take on the winner of Jenks and Glenpool in the semifinals.

On the other half of the bracket, the Sandites take their eight game winning streak into a matchup with Ray-Pec, while the Redhawks take on Bartlesville.

The championship game will be played at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the UMAC.

Tulsa Union's boys will be involved in its annual Jenks-Union Invitational Tournament beginning on Jan. 18, 2024.

Tulsa Union's boys will be involved in its annual Jenks-Union Invitational Tournament beginning on Jan. 18, 2024.

-- Michael Kinney | @SBLiveOK