Nov. 18—STONEWALL — There was no surprise at the top when the girls' bracket for the 2023 Pontotoc Conference Tournament was announced after a meeting of the league's coaches Wednesday night at Polo's Mexican Restaurant.
The Vanoss Lady Wolves became the top seed of the girls' event for the seventh consecutive year.
However, a few eyebrows might have been raised when votes were tallied and the Stonewall Longhorns were selected as the No. 1 seed of the boys' bracket.
The 2023 Pontotoc Conference Tournament is scheduled for Dec. 4-9 inside the Murphy-Roberts Gymnasium at Stonewall High School.
First-round games are scheduled for 4:30 p.m., 5:50 p.m. 7:10 p.m., and 8:30 p.m. on Monday (Dec. 4) and Tuesday (Dec. 5).
Coach Wes Moreland's Stonewall bunch is off to a 4-0 start to the season after surviving a scare by Asher 50-42 in overtime in a Tuesday night road contest. Moreland said isn't sure the last time the Longhorns were named the top seed heading into the conference tournament.
"I'm not sure but our group is excited and ready to go compete in the tournament," Moreland told The Ada News. "We have had a good start to this season and are just trying to get better with each game we play."
The Allen Mustangs, who will be led by one of the toughest one-two combinations in the state in Brayden Tatum and Garrett Nix — are the No. 2 seed. The Vanoss Wolves, which started off at 3-2 on the year, are No. 3 and Asher is the No. 4 seed.
Moreland said he expects some dogfights in tournament play.
"The boy's side of the bracket is going to be extremely competitive. There are a lot of really good teams in it. I think a lot of these games are going to be decided by a close margin, so that's going to make for a great tournament," he said.
The Vanoss Lady Wolves were off to a 5-0 start heading into the seeding meeting and hadn't been tested yet. However, VHS head coach Jonathon Hurt said his team will be even better once point guard Caidence Cross returns from injury.
"There are several good teams in our conference. We will need our point guard back 100% healthy to be able to contend with the best teams," Hurt said.
The Allen Lady Mustangs were voted the No. 2 seed and return five experienced players from a team that won 18 games.
Stratford is the No. 3 seed in the girls' bracket and host Stonewall picked up the No. 4 spot.