LeFLORE–The LeFlore seventh and eighth grade academic team started off the season in January at the district competition held in Hodgen.
LeFlore finished in first place, beating the other three teams in the district: Hodgen, Cameron and Monroe.
The regional competition was held at Webber Falls in February. With nine teams, including LeFlore, which was seeded second in the tournament.
The regional tournament was a true double-elimination tournament where even if you have one loss, you can still win the whole thing.
This proved crucial. After advancing on a forfeit by Delonegah, LeFlore faced third-seeded Peggs and was victorious in a 250-190 point win. Moving on into the fourth round, LeFlore met Welch, the fourth seed.
LeFlore stumbled and was defeated 260-190. That put LeFlore into the loser’s half of the bracket where LeFlore once again met Peggs. LeFlore beat Peggs in a 360-190 point game and advanced to the winner of the loser’s bracket against Welch again.
LeFlore came out on top this time in a 210-150 point win, forcing an extra round to determine the winner of the tournament where LeFlore won again in a 260-160 point match.
Since LeFlore won regionals, the team advanced to the state tournament along with the second and third place teams in the region: Welch and Peggs.
State is held in the Physical Sciences Building on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman. Because state was held in late April, LeFlore took the month break to study up on different areas with the help of many people, including coach Tracy Loyd and assistant coach Laura Earls.
The state tournament bracket was assembled in the same way as the regional bracket except there were 20 teams instead of nine. LeFlore was ranked as the fifth seed in the tournament.
Arriving on campus, LeFlore enrolled in the tournament and faced its first opponent, 16th-seeded Union City. LeFlore started slow and stumbled at first before recovering and winning, 310-180.
Advancing, LeFlore met an old rival: Welch. In a game of ups and downs for both teams, LeFlore came out on top 230-180.
After surviving Welch, LeFlore met Medford, the seventh seed, and played them a good game, coming out victorious in a 340-260 point game.
Then LeFlore encountered Leedey, the 13th seed, and met them head-to-head in a major showdown that was close until the very end with LeFlore coming out on top, 270-210.
With this win, LeFlore was in the championship match against whichever team came out of the loser’s side of the bracket. After waiting two hours for the opponent to be determined, LeFlore faced the top-seeded Canute in a match for the win.
Canute fought its way back from the loser’s side to face LeFlore. The game was a long battle with many tense moments, but eventually LeFlore came out on top 270-200, winning the state academic championship for the first time in school history.
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