– BY MICHAEL KNIGHT
The 2017-2018 basketball season has come and gone and it’s time to hand out some awards! Stay tuned to OKPreps all week as we hand out awards and recognize some of the best performances throughout the basketball season. Up first, we announce our ten finalists for the OKPreps Boys Player Of The Year award. As always, you can vote on who YOU think should be the Fan’s Favorite winner for the award. Voting starts now and will end on Monday, April 2nd at noon! OKPreps will announce their staff pick on Friday. The finalists for the boy’s award was announced earlier today. You can see them right here. Here’s a look at all ten finalists for the award.
Aspen Williston – Center – Broken Bow
Few players in the state have been as physically dominating as Broken Bow’s Aspen Williston. Don’t get that wrong. We’ve seen dominant scorers in Oklahoma, but Williston has owned the paint every time she has stepped on the floor. The Oklahoma signee was a double-double machine and was an automatic basket anytime she got the ball in the paint. She also dominated the offensive and defensive glass and made opponents think twice about driving into the paint, in fear of getting their shot rejected.
Ce’Nara Skanes – Forward – Putnam City West
The first of three players on this list to be named a finalist for the award two years in a row. Putnam City West’s Ce’Nara Skanes didn’t put up the numbers that we saw from her a year ago but what she lost in points production, she made up in every other aspect of her game. Skanes had more help around her and she was able to be a more complete player, instead of being the go-to scorer for this Lady Patriot team. Skanes nearly finished off her career with a game-winner in the state title game.
Claire Chastain – Forward – Dale
Class 2A basketball on the girls side was an absolute gauntlet this year. You had some absolute powerhouses and great teams throughout the top ten. Perennial power Dale was left on the outside looking in, but it wasn’t because of senior forward Claire Chastain. The UT-Arlington signee did a little bit of everything for the Lady Pirates this year. She was a dominant scorer as she could knock down shots from anywhere on the floor. She’s one of several Oklahomans who have signed with UT-Arlington this year.
Erika Ankney – Guard – Harrah
One of the biggest questions for Harrah this season was who was going to replace star guard Maddison Collyer, who was a finalist for this award a year ago. Not only did they find another star, but you fast forward to right now and another Harrah guard is a finalist for the award. This year, it’s Erika Ankney, who will be playing her college ball at ORU. Ankney picked up where Collyer left off and was a scoring machine, averaging nearly 20 points per game. It didn’t take long for her to become the floor general.
Gabby Gregory – Forward – Holland Hall
The second of the three repeat finalists is Holland Hall’s Gabby Gregory. She was a finalist last year as a sophomore and she’s only gotten better. It did not matter who Holland Hall played, how they chose to defend her, Gregory was going to score and she was going to score at will. Gregory averaged over 30 points per game and dominated 3A competition, on her way to getting Holland Hall back to the state tournament. She had multiple games where her final stat line looks like something out of a video game.
Jalei Oglesby – Guard – Howe
The scoring race next year between Holland Hall’s Gabby Gregory and Howe’s Jalei Oglesby is going to be an entertaining one to watch. Oglesby will join Gregory as the two top scorers in the state next year and Oglesby will be looking to fill it up again as a senior. Averaging over 30 points per game, Oglesby carried the Lady Lions to the 2A semifinals and they’ll enter next year as one of the teams to beat in 2A basketball. Similar to Gregory, even against the best teams on Howe’s schedule, Oglesby still went off.
Jessi Murcer – Guard – Westmoore
Westmoore senior and Oklahoma signee Jessi Murcer has already brought home some hardware this postseason. She was recently named the Gatorade’s state player of the year after another impressive season with the Lady Jags. Unfortunately, Murcer was unable to show off her skills at the state tournament as Westmoore fell short of the 6A tourney. However, Murcer was still one of the top guards in the state and did a great job getting her teammates involved when she could just take over at any point.
Lexy Keys – Guard – Tahlequah Sequoyah
The only sophomore to be named a finalist is Tahlequah Sequoyah’s Lexy Keys. She had a breakout season last year as a freshman and capped it off with Tournament MVP honors. She backed that up with an even more impressive season this year and ended it the same way, with another state title and another Tournament MVP honor. Keys and the Lady Indians might be set up for a dynasty-like run here. She has two more years to add to her already impressive legacy, which will be fun to watch unfold.
Misty Dossey – Center – Comanche
The third and final repeat finalist for the Player Of The Year award is Comanche’s Misty Dossey. The senior center is in the same circles as Broken Bow’s Aspen Williston. While she’s not as physical as Williston, her height has been a nightmare for opponents over the last few years. Another UT-Arlington signee, Dossey once again put up monster numbers as she helped lead Comanche back to the state tournament. Just like Williston, she was automatic in the paint and was a force on defense.
Sydney Manning – Forward – Cashion
The transition from 6A basketball to 2A basketball was an easy one for Cashion senior Sydney Manning. She just wrapped up what has been a great career to watch as she made countless trips to the state tournament and all the way to Championship Saturday. Manning went from Deer Creek to Cashion this season when here mom Totsy was hired as Cashion’s next head coach. The Lady Cats made it all the way to the 2A title game with Manning leading the way in scoring and as a defensive stopper.
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