By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
The 2016-2017 season is well under way and the Frontier Valley Conference is as competitive as ever. Eight out of ten FVC teams are ranked within their divisions and the Union Redskins are currently the undefeated unanimous pick as the No. 1 team in the state. They are also the only remaining team undefeated in conference play. The FVC is currently ranked third out of the five 6A conferences in overall strength.
No. 1 Union (12-0, 6-0) holds the best defense in the whole state, allowing only 48 points per game, on average. They have the third-ranked offense in the conference and win by an average of 15.8 points. In the last two weeks they have topped Bishop Kelley 65-42, Owasso 62-39, and Muskogee 78-42. SMU-commit Ethan Chargois scored 22 against both Kelley and Muskogee, but sat out Owasso with a hand injury. In that game Mo Garcia stepped up to lead the team with 20 points.
No. 9 Muskogee (8-2, 5-1) holds the second-best offense in the conference and the fourth-highest margin of victory. In the last two weeks they have topped Sand Springs 47-42 and Jenks 85-59, but were just hammered 78-42 by Union in what was expected to be a somewhat close match. Brooks Haddock has been the consistent top dog this season and posted 27 against Jenks, but could only muster a team-best 12 against the Redskins. Tyreece Berry has been back in action since the new year and led the team with 18 against Sand Springs.
No. 13 Sapulpa (7-2, 4-1) has the top-rated offense in the conference, averaging more than 68 points per game. Both of their conference games this year have been close ones, 59-57 over Broken Arrow and 72-68 over Sand Springs. Keenan Balance led the Chieftains to a come-from-behind victory over their archrivals from Sand Springs with 23 points, closely followed by Keenan Balance with 21. Balance also posted a team-best 20 points against Broken Arrow.
No. 11 Broken Arrow (8-4, 4-2) holds the second-best offense in the conference, third in the state, allowing only 49.1 points per game for the third-best margin of victory in the FVC. The Tigers have had a tough start to 2017, falling 59-57 to Sapulpa and only topping Jenks 46-38 in a game that saw the entire starting line benched by a frustrated head coach. Make no mistake, the powerhouse program is still a solid contender for the conference title if they can over come Muskogee next week.
No. 19 Bartlesville (6-5, 3-2) is middle of the pack both offensively and defensively, but has still managed to come out on top more often than not. The Bruins fell 76-68 to Bixby in triple overtime last week and had their game against Sapulpa canceled due to weather, but got back in the win column Tuesday with a 64-57 victory over Bishop Kelley. Barron Tanner has been the top dog in both of the last two games, scoring 23 against Bixby and 28 against Kelley.
5A No. 14 Bishop Kelley (4-6, 2-4) has done a good job keeping up with the 6A public school competitors, but dropped both of their last two conference games. The Comets hold the fourth-best defense in the FVC, but fell 65-42 to Union and 64-57 to Bartlesville. Ryan Gendron posted 18 against Bartlesville, closely followed by Alex Woodruff with 17.
No. 16 Owasso (7-5, 2-4) got off to a rough start with four straight losses to start the season, but have been making a solid comeback since the new year. After topping 5A No. 6 East Central (8-5) and No. 8 Booker T. Washington (9-3) to sweep the Skiatook Invitational, the Rams returned to conference play with a bang. They defeated Jenks 66-52 and Bixby 62-50, but fell 62-39 to Union. Jake Thompson posted 10 against both Jenks and Union, with 15 against Bixby. Josh Proctor led the team with 16 against Jenks and 13 against Bixby. Courtre led against Bixby with 17 and also had 12 against Jenks.
Bixby (5-7, 2-4) won a 76-68 triple-overtime shootout with Bartlesville, but fell 76-71 to Sand Springs and 62-50 to Owasso. Will Fiser scored 17 against Bartlesville, 22 against Sand Springs, and 11 against Owasso.
No. 18 Sand Springs (6-6, 1-5) notched their first conference win with a 76-71 performance against Bixby, but fell 47-42 to Muskogee and 72-68 to Sapulpa after leading for most of the game. The Sandites have the fourth-best offense and third-best defense in the conference. Colt Savage posted 20 against Muskogee and Sapulpa and 34 against Bixby. Jacob Garbey had 21 against Bixby and Kyle Keener had 21 against Sapulpa.
Jenks (1-9, 0-6) is still looking for their first conference win, despite a 21-point performance from Cole Surrett against Owasso and a 17-point performance from Eli Harris against Broken Arrow. The Trojans fell 66-52 to Owasso, 85-59 to Muskogee, and 46-38 to Broken Arrow.
- Big Ten (51.5)
- Central Oklahoma (48)
- Frontier Valley (45.4)
- Green Country (43.1)
- All-City 32.09
FVC Leading Scorers (points-per-game)
- Colt Savage (Sand Springs) 21.2
- Brooks Haddock (Muskogee) 20.7
- Keenan Balance (Sapulpa) 19.9
- Eli Harris (Jenks) 19.7
- Caleb Huffman (Broken Arrow) 18.9
- Julian Smith (Sapulpa) 17.1
- Ethan Chargois (Union) 17.1
- Kyle Keener (Sand Springs) 16.6
- TyReece Berry (Muskogee) 16.3
- Josh Proctor (Owasso) 15.8
January conference schedule:
1/24 Union @ Sand Springs
1/24 Bartlesville @ Muskogee
1/24 Broken Arrow @ Owasso
1/24 Bixby @ Sapulpa
1/24 Bishop Kelley @ Jenks
1/27 Sapulpa @ Union
1/27 Muskogee @ Broken Arrow
1/27 Sand Springs @ Owasso
1/27 Jenks @ Bartlesville
1/27 Bishop Kelley @ Bixby
1/31 Bixby @ Union
1/31 Muskogee @ Bishop Kelley
1/31 Broken Arrow @ Bartlesville
1/31 Owasso @ Sapulpa
1/31 Sand Springs @ Jenks