There is an old saying that goes something like this: “You have to beat the best to be the best.”

That will certainly be true of the Ryan and Waurika basketball squads if they hope to make a deep run into the Class A basketball playoffs.

Every high school basketball team in Oklahoma gets to begin post-season play – regardless of a team’s regular season record.

District assignments were released last weekend by the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association and the tourneys are set to get under way the weekend of February 14 and 15.

Brackets for the tournament are set to be released today after district meetings were held earlier this past week.

The district champion and district runner up will advance to the regional tournament the following week.

Waurika will be traveling to Alex for the Area 3, District A-8 tournament. Joining the Eagles will be the host school and Fox.

The favorite for both the boys’ and girls’ side of the bracket in the district will be Fox. After last weekend’s play, the Fox boys were undefeated at 19-0 and ranked 14th in Class A. The Lady Foxes held a 13-5 mark after last weekend’s action.

The Eagles and Lady Eagles will need a first-round win to guarantee a spot in the Class A Regional Tournament slated to be held at Central High and Alex.

Ryan has been assigned to the Area 3, District A-5 tournament at Cyril. Joining Ryan is the host school and Central High.

Cyril will be the overwhelming favorite in both the boys and girls tournament. The Pirates are the top-ranked squad in Class A through last weekend, while the Lady Pirates are 15-4 and ranked 12th in Class A.

The Cowboys and Cowgirls will also need a first-round win in order to extend their seasons by another week and advance to the regional at Central High and Alex.

Looking forward into the regional tourney, the boys’ side features two ranked teams in Cyril and Fox.

The girls’ regional will potentially feature the second-ranked Canute girls and Cyril, which is ranked 12th.

Only five of the 12 boys teams sport winning records, while on the girls’ side of the region eight of the 12 schools have winning marks.

Three schools from each regional will advance to the area tourney which is slated to be held at Chickasha. The regional champion, regional runner up and the regional consolation bracket champion will advance to the area tourney.

Assigned to the Area 3 are three other ranked boys teams – Vici, Arapaho-Butler and Southwest Covenent.

The girls’ side of the area features three more ranked teams – Vici, Arapaho-Butler and Cheyenne. Plus, Fletcher girls who finished third in the Comanche County Tournament last weekend will be among the possibilities for the area tourney.

It is possible that both Ryan and Waurika teams could advance to the regional tourney, but it would take some late-season improvement for the four squads to see success in the regional tourney or advance to the area tournament.

All four teams could use your support in the district tourneys at Cyril and Alex.