By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Heavy afternoon snow may have cost Enid High School’s basketball seniors their final chance to play in front of a home crowd Tuesday, when the Plainsmen and Pacers’ games against Stillwater were canceled due to travel concerns.
The varsity games were scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. between the arch rivals, and as the snowfall grew heavier early Tuesday afternoon, the game was called. Forecasts called for as much as 6-9 inches of snow throughout the day, and 2-4 inches of accumulation were expected when the National Weather Service’s forecast was updated at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday.
Enid was among several cities in northwest Oklahoma under a winter storm warning through 8 p.m., and was to remain under a winter weather advisory through at least midnight. The NWS gave a 70-percent chance of more snow, including an additional inch of accumulation, through 9 p.m., with a low of 26 degrees that increased the chance of icy road conditions by the time Stillwater’s teams would have left Enid.
With few game slots left in the season — Stillwater has two games remaining on its regular season schedule, and Enid has three — and regional playoffs scheduled to start Feb. 21, a makeup game between the teams appears unlikely.
“It is tough (to fit in an extra game at this point),” Plainsmen coach Ryan Wilkinson said. “If we didn’t have that Monday (Feb. 18) game with El Reno, we could have done it then, but we don’t have many options.”
Wilkinson said that the Plainsmen, who have seven seniors — Keon Parker, Deon Parker, Jemarcus Jackson, Correll Baker, Darnae Banks, Michael Walker and Harrison Maud — didn’t seem outwardly emotional about the cancellation during a brief talk at the team’s Tuesday shootaround, but that the Pacers “were really bummed.”
“Courtney (Chelf) said, ‘I’ll do anything. Whenever we can schedule it, I’ll do it.’” Wilkinson said.
“She really wants to play, and I love that about her,” said Pacers coach Robb Mills, who also coaches senior Shannon Mueller. “She really wants to play … Stillwater and us both want to play. We’re rivals.”
Mills said coaches have considered finding another way to honor Enid’s outgoing seniors, but that the time crunch as both teams prepare for the postseason (the Pacers play Mustang in their regional opener at 6:30 p.m. Feb 21 at Booker T. Washington in Tulsa, and the Plainsmen play at 6:30 p.m. Feb 22 against Broken Arrow in Bartlesville) might not afford them the opportunity before season’s end.
“I don’t know that anything makes up for something like that,” Mills said. “It’s pretty unfortunate.”