By CRAIG HALL
The 2013-14 basketball season starts Friday for three LeFlore County teams.
LeFlore hosts Indianola, Howe visits Smithville and Wister is at home against Red Oak in the openers.
This is the first night Oklahoma non-football schools can play. Whitesboro opens on Tuesday at home against Smithville while Cameron hosts Howe.
The 2013-14 season should be a banner one for county teams as the majority of teams have several returns and should be improved.
Here is an early look at the teams:
A good nucleus of teams for this season. Poteau is the defending county champion and returns several players, including Kaitlan Standridge and Montana Roll. The Lady Pirates should have a battle for the county crown this year with Arkoma, Howe, Panama, Pocola, Spiro and Talihina the primary challengers.
Bokoshe has to replace some key players from last year, Cameron has most of its roster back, LeFlore is rebuilding and Heavener has an excellent group of younger players. Wister lost some good players and Whitesboro could be improved.
LeFlore County probably has its best set of boys teams in years. Spiro is the defending champion and returns Knifeis Carter while Poteau has most of its players back, including Kendrick Hardaway.
Howe also returns most of its roster and Talihina lost Clark Austin, but has most of its team back from last year’s state qualifiers including Alan Lockhart and Logan Hillebrand, once they get out of football. Heavener lost a lot, but also returns some good players.
Cameron will likely be better and Whitesboro will be one of the better small schools in the county. Wister lost Tyler Gibson, but has an excellent freshman group to build around.
Pocola will again be good and Panama could cause some problems. Arkoma could be one of the more improved teams in the county. LeFlore has several returners while Bokoshe should be better.
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