That drought comes to an end Thursday when the Tigers play Graham in the quarterfinals of the state tournament Thursday night.
Tip off will be at 7 p.m. at Southern Nazarene University.
A win sends Coach Jace Newcomb’s Tigers into the semifinals against the winner Thursday afternoon’s game between Burlington and Red Oak. The semifinals game is set for 10:30 a.m. Friday at the State Fair Arena.
Other first round games have Forgan playing Lookeba-Sickles at 8:30 p.m. Thursday and 14th ranked Medford meeting top ranked Forgan at 2 p.m.
Graham (24-2) is ranked 8th in Class B. They lost to Medford 64-63 in the area winners final on Friday night. The Chieftan’s squeaked by Mulhall-Orlando 64-63 in Saturday night’s loser’s bracket final.
Duke routed 3rd ranked Lomega in Friday night’s area finals to reach the state tournament.
‘I saw them (Graham) play,” Newcomb said. “They are really athletic. We’ll have to be ready for that.”
It’s been a banner year for the Tigers. They have been fun to watch and Newcomb said it’s been fun to coach them.
“We’ve won every tournament and met our goals including making the state tournament,” he said.
Since they haven’t been to the state tournament, one might think Duke is just happy to be there, but that is not the case according to Newcomb. “We’re not just happy to be there,” he said. “I think we’ve shown we’re good enough to compete.”
It’s been a balanced attack that’s carried the Tigers to a 22-2 season record. That was never more evident in the Lomega game with five players scoring in double figures.
Kevin Rice scored 24 points, Kanyon Combs 16 points, Jeramey Lennox 13 points while Garret Chambless and Kale Thompson had 11 points each.
Duke basketball fans going to to Southern Nazarene University need to go up I-44 and take the War Acres/Bethany exit. Go to the right and loop around. Go about 3 miles west and the gym will be on the north.
(See team profiles page 5)