The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Associaiton (OSSAA) met on Thursday, March 26, 2020 and officially ended the 2019-2020 sports season in the state of Oklahoma due to the COVID-19 pandemic that is sweeping the nation. The vote from the board of directors was unanimous and comes just a day after the Oklahoma State Board of Education moved all schools in the state to a distance learning model for the remainder of the school year. With that announcement school buildings, including all athletic facilities both indoor and outdoor, are closed until the end of the school year.
The cancellations include the Class 2A-6A State Basketball Tournaments, which the Bronchos (4A-#8) qualified for, as well as all spring sports for the remainder of the year including Golf, Soccer, Baseball, and Track & Field. Also included in the cancellation are all spring activities in other sports such as spring football practice and any sport-specific camps. David Jackson, Executive Director of the OSSAA said, "It's disheartening to allow those teams that have worked really hard to get to the state tournament to not have a chance to play in it. For a lot of people, that's a once-in-a-lifetime accomplishment."
Bethany Athletic Director Jon Arthur added, "Even though this decision was most likely for the best it doesn't make it any easier on the young people and coaches who have prepared for this moment for a long time. Some of our seniors have been preparing for this season for their entire lives just to have it taken away. What is even harder is that many college athletes will get eligibility given back to them with this season being canceled, but for most of our high school athletes they will never play their sport again. It is truly a heart wrenching end for our players and coaches." Arthur went on to add, "We would just like to give a big thank you to the young people who have represented Bethany so well over their high school careers as well as the coaches that put in an unbelievable amount of time in getting their teams and facilities ready. Bethany is truly fortunate to have this great group of student-athletes and coaches representing us."
An announcement has not yet been made in regards to summer and fall athletic events.
Stillwater, OK - Bethany (4A-#8) had what many basketball fans would have said was a a game that couldn't be won on Friday night when they took on top-ranked Kingfisher (4A-#1), but the Bronchos had other plans. This game was the upset of the year so far in Oklahoma high school basketball as Bethany knocked off the defending state champions 54-42 and qualified for their first state tournament appearance since 2009.
The Bronchos held a defensive clinic from the start against the Yellowjackets, holding Kingfisher to their lowest scoring output of the season with just 42 points. That was due to excellent execution from the Bronchos which caused Kingfisher to have an abysmal night shooting the ball. The Bronchos held OU signee Bijan Cortes to 18 points on the night, but 10 of those points came from the free throw line. Fellow Kingfisher standout Matthew Stone was held to just four points in the game.
On the offensive end seniors Cameron and Brennan Burns led the Bronchos with 18 and 17 points, respectively. The game was a tight battle with the score knotted at 31 heading into the fourth quarter, but the Bronchos exploded, scoring 23 in the final stanza. Cameron Burns led the late surge scoring 11 of his points in the 4th quarter to help seal the victory.
The Area Championship win advances the Bronchos to the state quarterfinals where they will take on Broken Bow (4A-#6) in the first round of the state tournament on Thursday, March 12 at Deer Creek High School. The winner of that quarterfinal matchup will advance to the State Semi-Finals on Friday at 12:00 PM. That game will be played inside "The Big House", Jim Norick Arena at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds. The likely opponent in that semi-final matchup will be Holland Hall (4A-#3) who the Bronchos defeated earlier in the year 43-38 in the championship game of the Bethany Basketball Classic.
Perkins, OK - The Lady Bronchos (4A-UR) headed into the 4A Regional Tournament needing to string three wins together to make it to the Area round, and that's just what they did. After their big win over Seminole (4A-UR) on Thursday of the regional tournament they headed back into action Friday against the host school Perkins-Tryon (4A-#18) and came away with the biggest upset of the season.
The Bronchos defeated Perkins-Tryon 39-36 in overtime in what was a phenomenal defensive performance from seniors Sylvia Lambert, Reagan Conrad, and Sydney Walstad. Walstad was fantastic on the day on both ends of the court as she had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. That trio of defenders did a great job defending the taller players for the Demons. The scoring for Bethany was spread out as well with Amelia Farni adding 13 points and Lauryn Scalice finishing the game with 11 points. It came down to defense though to force overtime as the Bronchos had to stop two under the basket inbounds attempts by Perkins-Tryon in the final 10 seconds to secure the tie and send the game into overtime. In overtime the Bronchos never looked back and earned a spot in the Regional Consolation Finals on Saturday afternoon.
On Saturday they drew a matchup with Metro Christian (4A-UR) and controlled this game from the start, building an eight point lead by the end of the first quarter. Walstad had a double-double again in this game and Farni led the Lady Bronchos with 18 points in the 58-48 victory. This win propels Bethany into the 4A Area Tournament for the first time since 2014. The Lady Bronchos will take on Elk City (4A-UR) in the opening round on Thursday, March 5 at Stillwater High School. Bethany and Elk City are Western Conference foes and the Lady Bronchos defeated the Lady Elks 52-46 earlier this season at home. CLICK HERE to see the complete Area 1 Playoff Bracket.
Chickasha, OK - The Bethany Broncho powerlifters went to Chickasha on Friday, February 21st and didn't come away empty-handed. Freshman Jack Gilliland and Junior Jack Griffin won gold medals in the 198 lb. and 242 lb. weight classes, respectively. Also, Junior Alex Millspaugh got 3rd place in the 275 lb. weight class. All of the lifters improved on their weight totals from the previous powerlifting meet two weeks prior. Competing for the Bronchos were: Grear McLure (SO), Stone Gregory (FR), Nolan Johnson (SO), Jack Griffin (JR), Jaden Gilliland (FR), Bryson Gray (JR), Bryce Pennock (SO), Alex Millspaugh (JR), Caleb Runge (FR), and Tyler Garner (JR).
Jenks, OK - The Broncho swim team travel this past weekend to the Class 5A State Swimming Championships at the Jenks Aquatic Center and took home an 11th place finish on the boys side and a 14th place finish on the girls side.
The boys teams accomplishments were highlighted by an 8th place finish overall and a spot on the medals podium for the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay team of Garrett Lawrence, Ben Martin, Michael Collins, and Keaton Fouts. Elsewhere on the boys side Bethany finished in 9th place in two other relays. First, the 200 Yard Medley Relay team of Max McDowell, Zane Berry, Lawrence, and Martin finished 9th and the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay team of Collins, Lawrence, Ian Walsh and Khy Duke also came in 9th. Garrett Lawrence, after swimming on three relays, also came in 13th overall in the 100 Yard Butterfly.
The girls squad also swam competitively in the relays with a 12th place overall finish in the 200 Yard Medley Relay. That relay included Annalise Abernathy, Emily Tabor, Victoria Williams-Gilbey, and Kate Coffee. The girls came in 10th in the 200 Yard Freestyle Relay behind a strong swim from Coffee, Abernathy, Williams-Gilbey, and Aidan Kerr. In the individual events Chloe Cariker came in with a 15th place finish in the 100 Yard Butterfly. Finally, in the last event of the meet the girls team of Coffee, Cariker, Abernathy, and Williams-Gilbey once again came in 10th in the 400 Yard Freestyle Relay.