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For four straight years, 2008-11, the Talihina Golden Tigers basketball team ended each of those seasons at the Class 2A State Tournament, winning the gold ball in 2011.
Two years later, the Golden Tigers find themselves back at state. However, unlike the other four trips, the Golden Tigers are likely the least favorite team of the eight there to win the gold ball Saturday night at Oklahoma City's State Fair Arena.
Just look at who the Golden Tigers have knocked off this postseason â€” Oktaha and Preston, neither of which made state this year. Preston was the team they knocked off to not only make state this year, but it was the Pirates who fell to the Golden Tigers in the 2011 area title game and the state title game a week later.
Sometimes, it's not how talented or athletic a team is, but how well that team is playing. Right now, the Golden Tigers are playing very well â€” and, personally seeing the area title game Friday night in Wilburton, they may have played the best game I saw them play all year.
The bottom line is this. The Golden Tigers are the only LeFlore County team playing right now, so let's get on the Talihina bandwagon for three more days â€” starting Thursday.
Class 2A Boys State Tournament Schedule
Thursday at Oklahoma City University
Talihina vs. Latta, 2 p.m.
Ketchum vs. Chouteau-Mazie, 3:30 p.m.
Thomas vs. Merritt, 7 p.m.
Haworth vs. Konawa, 8:30 p.m.
Friday at Oklahoma City University
Talihina-Latta winner vs. Ketchum-Chouteau/Mazie winner, 6 p.m.
Thomas-Merritt winner vs. Haworth-Konawa winner, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday at State Fair Arena
Class 2A State Title Game, 5:45 p.m.