At long last, the Ada Evening News sports department is proud to present its 45th annual All-Area basketball edition.

As always, picking the top players in an area full of fantastic ones is no easy chore. But sports writer Bob Forrest and myself did it thanks to a sports editor 45 years ago who decided it was a good idea.

Due to such a busy spring sports season (area baseball, softball, tennis, track and golf teams have kept us occupied), it took as a little longer than we would have liked, but as somebody somewhere else has probably said, better now than later.

As always, a special thank you is in order for the area coaches who worked with us throughout the season and provided us with their final statistics after their teams had finally been eliminated from the playoffs. We certainly couldn’t do it without you guys and gals.

And a big thanks to the players, many of whom we got to know while following them from gymnasium to gymnasium. The All-Area section IS all about you.

Hopefully we’ll see a good portion of our local hoop stars this Wednesday night during the Ada Evening News All-Star Classic festivities.

Remember players, the 3-point Shoot Out and Slam Dunk Contest preliminary rounds begin at 4 p.m. at Stonewall’s Murphy-Roberts Gymnasium and those events are open to any varsity players.

The All-Star Classic girls’ game will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the boys to follow at approximately 8 p.m. Those players who were named to the All-Area First Teams will also be presented with awards between Wednesday night’s contests.

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Elite Eight

Eight local baseball and softball teams earned trips to their respective state tournaments this spring with the Lady Tigers of Tupelo and the Tigers of Roff bringing home the gold.

Of course around these parts, it’s no surprise to see teams advance in the playoffs in any sports season, but especially in the spring.

Congratulations to the Elite 8. We look forward to doing it all over again next spring.

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Fantasy Update

Unless a miraculous Mother’s Day occurs, it looks like there will be a new team occupying the cellar in the 2006 Ada Evening News Fantasy Baseball Challenge.

As of press time, the last-place team — soonerjas owned by James Myers — was whipping the Weekend Warriors (owned by Chuck Muntz) like a proverbial stepchild, 10-1.

It looks liked Kevin Gray’s KJ’s Hardhitters will hold on to the top spot with a Week 6 win over Jeremy Cantrell’s Team Flash.

It’s too close to call in a battle to decided the second spot involving Leo Kelley’s Sluggs and the Mustangs of Bob Forrest.

Things could definitely get ugly before this long season is over. Stay tuned.

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Have a Happy Day

I’d not only like to wish “Mama Cali” a happy Mother’s Day but here’s hoping every mother out there has a super Sunday. You deserve it!

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