Eufaula punches ticket to state

Ronn Rowland, Muskogee Phoenix, Okla.
·2 min read

Mar. 6—It is said that revenge is a dish that's best served cold.

If that's true, then the Eufaula boys pulled one out from the freezer and handed it to Adair, knocking off the Warriors 57-43 on Friday in the Class 3A Area II boys area championship game in Verdigris, and earning a berth in the state tournament for the first time since 2004.

It was Adair that beat the No. 10 Ironheads (13-4) in the area consolation final 50-48 in 2020.

"We feel like last year we really had been the better team then," Eufaula coach Jeff Oliver said. "They have a very good team, but we really had been looking forward to this rematch. We're glad we got that opportunity and the boys were definitely ready."

One Ironhead that was ready was Nick Jones. Oliver said when he called on him, Jones stepped up.

"Garret Long is their leader, their best player and we used a couple of different people to guard him early," he said. "I said to Nick at halftime 'I don't want him to get but about four more' cause he had 12 in the first half. He only scored one two-point basket in the second half. Nick had him the second half."

Alex Parish led the way for Eufaula with 21 points. Jones finished with 17 and Jacob Fitzer had 11 points.

Oliver had additional praise for Khelil Deere, who played hard down the stretch despite early foul trouble.

"He got his third foul in the first quarter before we could get him out and that was a big factor why we couldn't distance ourselves," Oliver said.

The Ironheads will find out Sunday who they play in next week's state tournament.

But for right now, it's time to eat cold food.

Adair will still have a shot at state, that through the same consolation route they took a year ago, playing Westville, a 47-43 winner over Rejoice Christian.