By Ron Holt
Three of Class 6A’s finest high school girls’ basketball teams highlight a talented field in the annual Bixby Invitational Thursday through Saturday (Dec. 8-10) at Whitey Ford Field House on the BHS campus.
Bixby, Edmond North and Edmond Memorial each competed in last season’s Class 6A state tournament. Edmond North edged Bixby 59-57 in overtime to win the championship. Bixby, which played in the last two Class 6A state championship games, upended Edmond Memorial, 49-29, in the state tourney opener last season.
Edmond North, coached by Pete Papahronis, and Edmond Memorial, coached by Rachel Crabaugh, have competed in Bixby’s tourney in recent years. North defeated Bixby – which played without standout guard Gracy Wernli – in last year’s tournament championship game, 75-34. The Lady Spartans downed Harding Prep and Broken Arrow, respectively, in reaching the tourney finals last season.
“Our tournament is going to be strong with really strong teams Edmond North and Edmond Memorial attending again. With them and our team we’ll probably have the top three ranked teams in the state,” Bixby’s head coach Tina Thomas said.
Also competing in the tourney are Broken Arrow, Class 5A’s Piedmont, Class 4A’s Harding Prep, Class 4A’s Oklahoma City Douglass and Life Prep Academy of Wichita, Kansas. Broken Arrow was 14-10 in 2021 in the first year under head coach Shane Coffey, a former Edmond Memorial head girls’ coach and assistant coach for the University of Tulsa’s women’s team. BA and Harding Prep competed in last year’s tourney. Life Prep Academy, which is making its first appearance, had a successful 2021 season, finishing with a 20-2 record.
Bixby opens the tournament against Class 4A’s Oklahoma City Douglass at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8. In other first round games Broken Arrow plays Piedmont at 2 p.m., Edmond Memorial takes on Harding Prep at 3:30 p.m. and Edmond North tests Life Prep Academy.
Bixby Invitational Tournament
THURSDAY, DEC. 8
2 p.m. – Broken Arrow vs. Piedmont; 3:30 p.m. – Edmond Memorial vs. Harding Prep; 5 p.m. – Edmond
North vs. Life Prep Academy; 6:30 p.m. – Bixby vs. OC Douglass.
FRIDAY, DEC. 9
2 p.m. – Broken Arrow-Piedmont loser vs. Edmond North-Life Prep Academy loser; 3:30 p.m. – Edmond
Memorial-Harding Prep loser vs. Bixby-OC Douglass loser; 5 p.m. – Broken Arrow-Piedmont winner vs.
Edmond North-Life Prep Academy winner; 6:30 p.m. – Edmond Memorial-Harding Prep winner vs.
Bixby-OC Douglass winner.
SATURDAY, DEC. 10
2 p.m. – Seventh Place Game; 3:30 p.m. – Consolation Finals; 5 p.m. – Third Place Game, 6:30 p.m. –