McALESTER — If you can’t make it to the Class A and B district tournaments that start Feb. 14, don’t panic — five of the 10 local teams are guaranteed to advance to Regionals the following weekend.
The Kiowa Cowboys and Cowgirls, Stuart Hornets and Lady Hornets and Pittsburg Lady Panthers have all been given first-round byes in the district tournament brackets released by the Oklahoma State Secondary School Activities Association. All five will automatically play in their district championships, both the winner and loser of which advance to Regionals.
In Class A Area IV, Kiowa has received a first-round bye into the District 1 championship. Kiowa will host either Stringtown or Moss in the championship, the Cowgirls playing Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m. and the Cowboys playing at 8 p.m.
Stuart has received a first-round bye into the District 2 championship. Stuart will host either Haileyville or Clayton in the championship, the Lady Hornets playing Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m. and the Hornets playing at 8 p.m.
Haileyville plays Clayton in the first round of the District 2 tournament Feb. 14 at Stuart. The Lady Warriors play at 6:30 p.m., then the Warriors play at 8 p.m.
In Class B Area IV, the Lady Panthers have received a first-round bye into the District 3 tournament. Pittsburg will play either Wapanucka or Milburn in the championship Feb. 15 at Wapanucka at 6:30 p.m.
The Panthers play Milburn in the first round of the boys’ District 3 tournament Feb. 14 at Wapanucka at 8 p.m.
Indianola plays Calvin in both the boys’ and girls’ District 8 tournament at Buffalo Valley. The Warriorettes play Feb. 14 at 6:30 p.m., then the Warriors play at 8 p.m.
The winners then play Buffalo Valley in the championship Feb. 15.
A first-round loss at Districts means elimination, but after that the postseason becomes double-elimination until the state tournament. But a team avoiding that first loss means it needs fewer wins to advance, as regional champions would only need to win one game at the Area Tournament to make State.