By Michael Kinney
The Moore American
MOORE — Westmoore had been chasing Moore the entire season. The Lions had a firm grasp on the No. 1 ranking in class 6A for almost every week of the season. But that streak ended Monday when the Jaguars took over the top in the final week of the regular season.
“I feel we have been playing pretty well this month,” Westmoore coach Steve Schwarz said. “We are continuing to improve and that’s all I can ask for.”
The Jags (28-4) have been on fire in the month of April. Since losing to No. 6 Tecumseh April 9, Westmoore has won six straight games entering this week by a combined score of 66 to 8. That included pummeling Southmoore 13-1 and Moore 13-1 during the streak.
“Our key to this offense is the basics,” Schwarz said. “Base hits. When we don’t try to hit home runs and go for base hits this team can beat anybody. The team as a whole has been playing very well. Our seniors are tearing it up at the plate.”
While the Jaguars rose to No. 1, MHS (30-5) dropped to No. 3, despite being one of only two teams with at least 30 wins.
“We are starting to play back to where we should be playing,” Moore coach Michael Wakefield said. “We had a week where we didn’t hit the ball at all and we lost three games against three very good teams. But we are starting to hit again like we are capable and are getting back on the winning track.”
Wakefield has used those tough defeats as motivation for his squad.
“I just think that it was a bad day and better to have that day now than the day of state,” Wakefield said. “I told them that we had played great all year long and that one tough day doesn’t break a season. And we have played better since then.”
No. 10 Southmoore (17-9) has stayed in them middle of the pack for much of the year. They beat the teams they are supposed to, but are having a difficult time of knocking off the elite squads.
But even more of a problem has been mother nature. Since April 2, the SaberCats have had seven games rained out.
All three teams could be in store for more weather related problems when the postseason begins this week with the regional tournaments. But the Lions, Jags and Cats will be more concerned in making sure they are the ones who advance out of their bracket and into the state tournament.
Southmoore travels to Tecumseh along with Norman and Noble. Westmoore will host McLoud, No. 17 Anadarko and Elk City. Moore host Putnam City West and Putnam City North. Santa Fe South was supposed to be in the Lions bracket, but they do not have a team.
Games are scheduled to start today and Thursday.
“I really do think we are peaking at the right time, but only time will tell with such a young team,” Schwarz said. “I want our team to working on perfecting everything in regional.”
Michael Kinney Follow me @eyeamtruth firstname.lastname@example.org